Halo Valley - Three guys, guitars, bass, pedals, noise... two are sitting, one standing, all concocting instrumental music. This is not overly experimental, but improvisational in the manner of Kuschty Rye Ergot. They create some fine moments and they drive their sound out into rock idioms at times, which is good when you are doing a full set. Nice job here and a sufficient warm-up to a night of fascinating music.
Boat Burning - The last time I saw band leader Andras Fekete, was as a conductor of a guitar orchestra with some backing. This time it is some of that same music with a tighter sextet of guitars and drums and a bit of keyboard. He has some fine local guitarists in his band such as Geordie Grindle of Tone, so these guys understand sonics and creatively working off of other players. Fekete still keeps an eye on things as they combine weaving moves with drones and repetitive phrases in logical and pleasing ways. It's loud, strong, interesting, and fully structured as instrumental songs. I think there were plenty of guitars for guitar lovers. But if you want more, he is orchestrating a 70 Guitar extravaganza in Dupont Circle on June 6th. Keep it here for further details, as it will be amazing.
Anthony Pirog Trio - And what better way to cap off an evening of extraordinary music with one of if not the best guitarists in DC. I love his work with cellist Janel Leppin, but have seen Anthony Pirog in a couple of other combinations as well and he always delivers great technical skills packed with creative emotional punch. This trio features a busy drummer and standup bassist who know their trade well. The music is quite varied both between and within songs. Is this where Psyche Folk meet Progressive Jazz Rock? Perhaps, as all of those elements are in this music. Somehow, Pirog offers both familiar moves and creative twists that all have a strong emotional impact. He's the perfect guitarist for those that want a bit more from the crowd, but don't want to go all the way into noisy atonality. This is music that just about anyone can enjoy on some level.
Quote of the Night - from a couple debating whether to come in past the upstairs door person... "Would you rather go downstairs and dance?"