Wiley Sonic - This is the first time for me seeing this band and the first time I have taken in a show here at the Hard Rock Cafe. This is only a few blocks from where I live, so it is hard to pass up a show. The band is pretty straight ahead rock and features a couple of guitars with a rhythm section. All the three of the guys up front take a turn at lead vocals. Actually the infrequent vocals from the bass player resonate highest with me, but I have to say, the PA here does not offer me a fair assessment of this band. The vocals were not coming through well at all. The guitars were a bit compressed, but at least everything else was balanced nicely. The extremely high room does offer a challenge, but I think just slightly better equipment would have helped a lot. Otherwise, it was akin to a comfortable Birchmere Jr. type setting with dinner and seating and lots of music lovers. This was also a charitable event with multiple charities involved and the bands tonight earned their spots with their work, so kudos to them. I will be checking out Wiley Sonic's brand of straight-ahead rock some time next year hopefully. But for now, their mixed set showed just enough bright songwriting particularly in the latter songs. And although the guitars of Prince, Izzy Stradlin, Motley Crue, and Aerosmith hovered above them, I would say that even their worst song tonight was better than the best song of one of these artists.
The WeaterVanes - I just saw them recently and really enjoyed their set as you can read here. This local four-piece has an Americana rock approach with folk, blues, and alt-country touches. Their sound and lead vocals were better early on as they were a bit more acoustic for one thing, although they vary electric/acoustic and keyboards/mandolin nicely. Still, when the bass player chatted with the crowd, I couldn't hear a word. But their skill came through all right tonight. I will defer to a future show to discuss them further and that will be upcoming in January. Look for them then and beyond and further kudos for doing this charity show. I can certainly put up with lesser sound to attend events like this. I had a really nice time and hopefully more things like this will be happening in my neighborhood and beyond.
T-shirt of the Night: (actually from the previous night)... I spotted a guy whose t-shirt had a fascinating design. It was the Black Flag "Everything Went Black" cover with the shears. This was the album that came out during the long momentum killing time when Black Flag and the Unicorn label were involved in litigation following the first album. They put out this album with no mention of Black Flag, but the four bars logo. The t-shirt tonight had Black Flag's name on it. Although, the suit is long settled (and why Black Flag ever dealt with Unicorn is still a mystery to me), it really startled me to see this updated cover. It is amazing how some things stay with you and such minor things trigger such long winded memories.