GRMLN - If you enjoy garage rock and miss Husker Du (that covers a lot of ground), then this California quartet is a band worth your listening time. They have a supremely fetching noisy pop sound with songs like they came from the younger Grant Hart. The hooks are there easily cutting through the noisy din of the two guitars. It may be a bit more noisy than they like as they are apologizing for a feedback buzz, which as is often the case is more noticeable during the breaks and blends in well enough for most rock bands when they let those power chords rip. This set showed more than just a band rocking out in a way that is comfortable for me, but to my ears also had a few songs that were well above that of established hits. So indulge yourself on some highly entertaining music that will stick with you well after the show. These guys are the real deal.
Geographer - This is their first sold-out DC show, so this San Francisco trio must be doing something right. I kind of see it and I kind of don't. They start with drums and two keyboard banks, although one guy switches to electric cello during the first song where he stays for some time. The other guy handles the lead vocals and straps on a guitar later on. They are personable and interacting with the audience who they want to get fired up because "we love DC, because you guys know how to cut loose." Really? There was some enthusiasm up front as their brand of electronic pop music did have its charm. I was doubtful at first, but the creative drumming and cello sounds went a long way to help me overcome the rather twee vocal tones and melodies. I would have liked to stay with this set longer, but there was the usual noise in the back where two guys straight from their office could not stop their loud conversation, even when another group asked them nicely to tone it down (their courteous gesture was to move even closer to me). That and the incident below was quite enough for this night.
Quote of the Night: "You'll have to come with me"... I didn't actually hear this but something like this was said after I had been watching two underage women at a booth for about half a song into the opening set before club security decided to escort them out. One of them was severely trying to keep the other one lucid and awake as she was obviously not handling whatever she was on. The club handled it quickly, not so surprisingly professionally, and was totally right in not having some underage person pass out on their premises. I think the DC9 has had enough notoriety already.
In leaving the show over an hour later, this woman was still trying to get it together while sitting on some nearby steps with her friend trying to work her through it--a pool of vomit in front of them. Fun night out, ladies--thanks for encouraging clubs to do all-ages shows. These are the nights when I realize I have been way to old for this for many decades now.