The Colourist - Pop music really pops at the 9:30 Club when a band is assertive enough. The Colourist is all of that as they have plenty of muscle behind their sweet but fulfilling music. They use a simple line-up of either two guitars, guitar and keyboards along with the rhythm section to get this done. The interesting contrasts are in the vocals. When the guitarist sings, he has a bit more of an Indie Rock and even California-Americana style. But when the drummer takes the lead, she has a strong power pop style that is so addictive when it works this well. I am reminded of Sloan and several other bands that can manage this style so well. The Colourist effectively creates a broad appeal garnering mainstream music fans along with people that have heard it all, but still appreciate good songs in classic styles. They only have an EP out so far, but with this kind of start, it won't be long before they will be back as headliners.
The Naked and the Famous - This was the second sold-out show here, a fact I had to remember when I was marveling at how excellent the sound was tonight from the first note to the last. Well duh--they had a full night to tweak the knobs and fiddle with the levels. But it sure helped bring this New Zealand band's slick urban pop sound forward. The keyboards and bass were throbbing with steady machine-like precision from their live drummer. All of this paved the way for cutting guitars and powerful vocals, mostly from Alisa Xayalith. I was reminded of a somewhat lighter Joy Formidable along with a nod back to power keyboard pop days of old. This was still a strong sound and they had a nice variety of songs where they would pull back before pushing things forward again. And I still enjoy a good light show which they had with their multiple arched rig surrounding the stage. This night was a good reminder for me, that even when I enjoy seeking out the smaller shows and dipping into the underground, a mainstream show with bands that write great songs and have a great command of their sound can make for a great evening out. It is always a good idea to challenge the borders of your listening experience... and that goes in all dimensional direction.
Quote of the Night: From the Headliners introducing a song that was featured on television.. "Do any of you guys watch TV? We are going to play a song that was on the TV."
Now, I found it funny to hear someone under the age of 60 use the term 'the TV', but I had a feeling I heard this wrong. They have a song on "The Vampire Diaries" so were they saying 'the VD'? I have neither the acute hearing or the degree of hipness in pop culture to know for sure, but mishearing things like lyrics is more fun than the real thing much of the time.