Caravels - The music in this twin guitar attack is quite thoughtful and interesting. It is moody post hardcore music that does some of the same things that Kattatonia does to metal. However, the comparison ends with the vocals which are the same earnest hardcore intense bleats that we have all heard 1,000 times. The vocal lines do not even seem to fit the music at times. Still, there is certainly a solid sound and some interesting songs for fans of this genre.
Seahaven - The crowd came early and has really filled up much of the big room to hear this LA quintet. There are three guitars at times, although one of them switches to keyboards frequently. The guitarist who handles most of the lead vocals has a strange slacker style which works well with the first rather straight forward indie rock number. But the second song is where the fun starts. The band floats off on a roaring droning riff river with the singer heading upstream in a strange style that should not work, but does. As the band continues, they exhibit great style and a fine variety of heavy sounds and deep contemplative moves. There was one pop-punk song even, before some more crunching riffs kicked in. Just to make things stranger still, the singer finishes with a solo cut with just his light strumming on guitar in somewhat of an electric Nick Drake move. Very strange and very good.
Mewithoutyou - I am glad this is a co-headline tour because this band nailed it as well as any headliner I have heard this year. My first thought was that this was like an alt country band who got really really bored and decided to convert their songs to nu metal. Or if I'm thinking of Denver, it would be like Munly Munly fronting the Fluid. They have a lot of that fun crazy attitude that Akron/Family has, although they have more subtle style to them. I have extensive notes that I can't read and I am not sure a description can do justice to the vibrant way they combine heavy and light and twist and turn their songs into something unique and powerful. Great stuff here and although they had plenty of fans early on, you could see the crowd becoming more involved as their 45 minute set continued to its rousing conclusion.
Touche Amore - This band, although still relatively young, is well established and seems to be a favorite in this area, as evident by the crowd tonight. The band was quite thankful that so many people came out on a Sunday night with a storm starting. Fortunately it was still rain around here (although it's a pretty nasty snowstorm as I type this the next morning) and people were here just to bunker down and rock out. This band delivers creative heavy rockers as well as anybody. Probably the only disappointment for me was how straight forward they sounded after the previous two bands. That is a little unfair, as a careful listen reveals some thoughtful choices the guitarists make underneath the main rhythmic thrusts and vocal lines. They rocked the house and gave every one a great final set to put smiles on faces until everyone heads for home, hopefully still on safe roads.
Quote of the Night: Another dream quote from a disturbing moment in last night's dream when I saw someone stab Bob Mould in the throat. Shortly after as I tried to check out on-line what happened (still in the dream) I heard a newscaster say this... "Supposedly a man came up to Mr. Mould and asked him to play the song 'Woffing' and then stabbed him twice."
Fortunately I find my dreams have very little predictive value, so you can see Bob this Wednesday at the 9:30 Club as he revisits his first solo album, "Workbook".
And aside from the need to have happier dreams, I was at least interested to learn that there is no such thing as woffing, although the word is part of some online game.