Dot Dash - Regular readers know I've long been a fan of this local band. It is only logical, as they are all veteran players from the punk rock days and take their sound from some of the stronger British styled power pop punk rock bands of that day and beyond. This is the first show I have seen with new lead guitarist Steve Hansgen (Minor Threat, GI, many more). It is a perfect fit and he gives a muscular heft to the sound with his powerful lead guitar style. The signature songs are all there with the powerful rhythm section and the vocals that still deliver a great melody on top of it all. The lead work brings out even more of a Buzzcocks flavor if I cam micromanage the style detection here. But Dot Dash ultimately sounds like Dot Dash, one of the stronger and more reliable straight ahead rock out DC bands out there.
The Lighthouse and the Whaler - Despite the fact that the normal guitars, bass, and drums also include a violin and a mandolin, I detect little Americana in this band. Instead, this Cleveland outfit has more of a pop rock flavor with folk moves within as well. The 45 minute set has its slow spots for me where they fall into my 'lightly likable' category, a grouping of bands that are perfectly good at what they do, but don't move me into much interest beyond watching their set once. But there are moments where the instrumentation is thick and interesting and they do vary their instruments by adding more keyboards or another guitar, which does freshen the set up nicely. They did succeed with the moderately large audience tonight, so they may be worth investigating further.
Matt Pond PA - Pond and his band are here to play the "Emblems" album on the tenth anniversary of its release. I did not know the material at all, but it clearly is a fine album with warm songs that this band delivers with great feeling. They have a fluid, mobile style, but with enough power to rock these songs out just enough for a Saturday night. Everything continued to flow and this hour long set did not feel long to me at all as it was easy to connect to Matt Pond's imagery in this music. This is also a nice little tour, quite possibly between new albums which seem to come out every 2-3 years for most people these days. But if you like to tour, it's a smart idea to revisit older works, try out different band combinations, and give your fans something unique at the live event. This was well done tonight.
Quote of the Night: Matt Pond while shaking his head 'no' ... "Should we talk about sports?" He then proceeded to mention he was a Mets fan, which I am not sure even plays out as well in New York in recent years, let alone here.