Wes Tucker & the Skillets - It is always a good show when this local four piece is on the bill. The band has a breezy style which creates a pleasant environment to showcase Wes Tucker's songs. They could be considered a very good bar band with their rootsy folk rock approach, but they take command of their sound and have strong enough material that they actual rise above that sort of limited designation. They do rock, sans reckless abandon, while they maintain their brand of an Americana blues-folk base. With only two bands tonight, they get a chance to play a full set which is welcome to the couple dozen people in attendance on this busy Saturday night. This band should be on your radar, if you like this style of music. They pretty much bring it every time out.
Round About - It is not too surprising that these two bands are on the same bill, as they have a similar approach beyond the two guitar look with rhythm section. They are song oriented rock bands with a very straight forward no frills approach. Round About does not have their roots showing as much, and take a more universal pop rock approach to their songs. This is the second time I have seen them with their 'new' lead guitarist and it is refreshing that they have been able to keep the quality of the guitar solos at a high level, as that gives them just enough of an added push to make them a more interesting band. But the other component parts keep up as well as these guys know each other well and work as a solid unit, emitting some fine material. It was nice to hear some new cuts along with favorites from their recent album. And for some bizarre reason, I kept chuckling during one cut as it reminded me of a Doctors of Madness song, which is not a reference I would expect to come up with for this band. Glad to see them still playing well and it was a pleasure to spend the evening with good bands and good people.
Quote of the Night: What a way to celebrate 30 years of straight edge sobriety, then to spend it in a bar! But that is how I have spent many nights in the last 30 years, as I seek out great music wherever I can find it. And I did the dinner and movie with my non-drinking friend the night before for a more logical celebration. Fortunately, I was never an alcoholic, so there has never been any temptation when I hit the clubs. I quit for three or four good reasons, one of which was due to straight edge movement here in DC. And I definitely am relaxed about it,in the DC manner as opposed to the Boston variation for those that remember that difference. But thanks, Ian MacKaye, for giving me one of the good reasons to quit.