Bleeding Rainbow - formerly known as Reading Rainbow, this Philly quartet must have changed their name when they saw blood coming out of their amps. Loud shoegaze rock is what they put into said amps with steady fast paced rhythms underneath the waves of guitars. When this clicks, the lead guitarist creates some great subtextures that result in that familiar psychedelic wash of noisy countermelodies. The vocals struggled to stay on top, but were quite effective with good male/female harmonies. There was a churning rock quality that even had a Flipper vibe in a few songs, although the rhythm section was far quicker (and far more in time, of course that goes without saying). Still, after 40 minutes, they had me in want of better songcraft and a few more curveballs to keep things fresh and exciting. But the noise was good, so I'll stay tuned.
Cave Singers - This quartet is from Seattle and offers a very different sonic template than that of the opener. They have drums and a bassist who adds some flute at times with a lead guitarist and a vocalist who plays guitar half the time and adds some percussion and a touch of harmonica. The first song is quiet and reminds me of a lovely Tom Rapp (Pearls Before Swine) song. They rock out a little more thereafter here and there and offer many challenging rhythm patterns in each song. The guitar work is excellent, occasionally reminding me of a softer Thomas Mapfumo style. They even dabbled with Bo Diddley style beats. All of this had heartland style vocals that managed to pull the diverse sounds together into an agreeable whole. They played a full 80 minutes and managed to keep things interesting every step of the way. The club had slowly filled up to a couple hundred or so and had much appreciation for this band. I am quite happy to have discovered these guys as they affirm my faith that there are ways to make Americana/indie rock far more worldly and interesting.
Quote of the Night - From the crowd "Best Concert ever!" Yes, well, a good one for sure. But I do need to add that the light show was particularly excellent tonight (sorry for the in-joke, but it was good).