Swell Daze - With the first notes, I am hoping I am hearing Good Times/Bad Times instead of something ripping off that song, not that turnabout is not fair play concerning Led Zeppelin. Turns out it is the Zeppelin cover, which works ok for me. But then more covers are routinely tossed into this 42 minute set. And it was mostly bad times for me with my least favorite Pink Floyd song being played (just guess--prize for the winner) and the Beatles, who hardly ever work well unless there is a real twist. The original music was ok as this band rocks quite nicely, especially with some hot guitar. Certainly this is a fine bar band, but I will need to hear more to see if the originality is up to the playing abilities.
Chess Club Romeos - More rock music delivered thick and assertively by a local quartet who features two guitars, at least when one of them isn't on keyboards. They all sing which adds a lot of heft to the sound and pushes things forward. They also could push the pace when needed, which I enjoyed a lot. Their songwriting is the main key to their success, as there is something just a little bit unexpected, perhaps in the vocal melody. Overall their sound is a bit in between Max Webster and Moxy (actually closer to the former, from what I recall of my memories of decades, nay centuries past). Less covers here, although I would not have recommended them closing with an old rock'n'roll chestnut. Next time, they should finish with their smoking original cut that was fourth from last. But this was a fine, fine set of interesting rock music covering a lot of ground.
Hello Dharma - More strong old school rock music on hand here and this band is decent enough, but I didn't quite get the personality shining through enough to distinguish their approach. I did enjoy the twin leads, as I saw two Thin Lizzy shirts the previous night, but this was the only band of the seven to actually employ some Lizzy style. A few more covers, I think (as I can conclude there were when a band member says we might recognize the next one, even when I don't). Probably a decent band here, but four 45 minute sets for this late starting show for my second night in a row gets pretty tough for me.
Thaylobleu - Well here's my late night wake-up call. Thaylobleu me away tonight with an even finer set than the previous ones I have seen. They have their usual mix of intriguing rock songs coupled with funkier R&B numbers, yet none of them fit comfortably within each genre. It is as if this was the musical equivalent of Hugh Crain's Hill House where as one character described the house as having no perfect right angle anywhere, creating something that is a bit off yet looks so right. And with Thaylobleu's music, that is a good thing as they are fine players who can really churn out such interesting songs with a bit more flair and panache than previously. They may not make a lot of people comfortable with their unique and sometimes challenging songs, but I hope they keep pushing the envelope. And they do rock out comfortably, so you don't have think too hard on this. Suffice it to say, they are on to something good and there are a whole lot of people in DC who should be checking them out.
Quote of the Night: From the opener ... "You guys rock, are you ready to keep it going?"