Phox - Baraboo, Wisconsin? Really? The circus town of my distant past? I did not think anyone outside of the Ringling Brothers crew was from Baraboo. This was just a short drive south from where I lived and where many of my relatives were. Of course, this creative band has moved on to Madison, akin to leaving Munchkinland for Austin. And this outfit has a fine grasp of broad, classic pop music. Almost jazz singing, but steadier more baroque pop moves are the driving force here, as the songs could exist in almost any decade in the last five, maybe eight. The band is crisp and knows how to rhythmically flow together and counter the main hooks with just enough to garner further listening interest. They stay light, but firm with assurance and conviction. Very nicely done.
Blitzen Trapper - I have seen this veteran Portland band a few times now, and have regularly reviewed their recent recordings, so I am quite familiar with what they are capable of. Yet, for someone so smooth and pleasurable, they are a slippier little bunch. They squirm away from the norms, but never so far to be evasive. Americana is likely their base, but there is so many interesting rock moves calling on different eras and sounds, as they always manage an engaging listen. Tonight is no exception as they start strong in front of a sizable crowd on the big stage. I am completely gassed for some reason, so I can not stick out the full set, but they show me that they still are an exciting live act, that is even more fun than their fine records.
Quote of the Night: From the opener... "This is a song about bad bakery products."