The Resistance - Arriving at 9:33 for a 9:30 weekend show at the Velvet Lounge normally invites a lengthy wait downstairs. But no! I missed about a minute of the opening song from the first band. Saints be praised, one of my favorite clubs seems to be running more efficiently every time out. And it is good news for the bands, as they can take advantage of extending their sets and not rushing so much. The Resistance did take full advantage by banging out a near 50 minute set of engaging rock music. The early sounds were smooth indie rock with a bit of guts and some shoegaze styling on the submerged side of the sound. They introduced a few shifts along the way with some outright gutsy rockers and some softer dreamier indie songs. Ultimately, I also felt a moderate tie-in to the late 80s harDCore sound. The key to making this all work was the interplay between the two guitars or the guitar and keyboard when the lead singer shifted instruments. The pummeling drums did not hurt a bit, either. They handled a blown amp easily enough and the 25-30 people present easily dug into these sounds. I will be happy to see these guys again. They seem to have a nice handle on things already, but should only get better with more songwriting.
Bells & Hunters - Another area band takes the stage with a familiar drummer I have a seen a few times in 'The Fed', here taking up the guitar and vocals. He is joined by a female singer, lead guitarist, along with bass and drums. They start with some good bluesy rock. The female vocals are deep with sort of a Screaming Females timbre. There are plenty of additional lead and harmony vocals from the rhythm guitar. Although they have a ways to go on catching a John/Exene magic, this is a very good start. The music is bluesy rock with plenty of funk moves and other sonic shifts. It is all on the subtle side and effectively creates a rock environment perfect for weekend rockers wanting to cut loose. The lead guitar work stands out and is clean, while the rhythm guitar has that classic fuzztone you want from this type of music. I don't believe these folks have been at it too long (as they are recording their second EP), but they are off to a fine start. The crowd grew to about 35-40 people, who by set's end were clearly having a great time. Sure, the beers might have had their effect by this time, but this nice classic rocking set from the Bells & Hunters did exactly what you want when you go out on a Friday night.
Council Bluffs - Alas, although the crowd was having a great time, a few recent health issues along with being blasted by Opeth, Mastodon, and Spiritualized in the last 48 hours took its toll. I will certainly try to catch this band another time, especially if they do another Velvet Lounge show.
Quote of the Night: Banter exchanged when the first band's amp went down...
"We need an amp."
"Just touch it with your magic powers."