Boon - This local quartet starts out with an exciting song that sounds like the band Chrome is trying to tackle shoegaze. There is surprisingly heavy riffing going on to a big beat with the spacey sonics carrying the melody. It came down into expected territory after that, but still pretty good when the song clicked. Basically it was more of a dreamy shoegaze set that was bit overly loud to where the sound did not come together as it should. Loudness is tricky and quite distracting when sounds are not balanced properly. Still, a decent set from a band worth a listen to (and hopefully will write more intriguing crossover songs).
Honest Haloway - Just three people making a similar din on stage for this set. Lots of keyboards with a bass or guitar working on top of the drums. They begin with a tough British pop rock style reminding me of Echo and the Bunnymen, again with a touch of shoegaze. The brisk pace moves it ahead of shoegaze to my ears. Again, the set tapered off into more predictable realms and a broken guitar string and a few lesser sound issues slowed the momentum some. Yet there is plenty of promise with this band and I would be happy seeing them on a bill again as their bright approach works well with their better songs.
Drop Electric - For a long time now, Drop Electric has been a powerful presence on the DC scene. Little has changed as they tear through another powerful set tonight. It was a little long in coming as the set up seemed extraordinarily long. But it was worth the wait as the band was on form with its heavy sound that seems like a happier Bardo Pond. There are seven members on stage and at times the vocals get a bit lost in the mix, but as the set wears on, the sound and songs sharpen up and create a well defined mood. They even ratchet it up on their closer in what sounds surprisingly close to an instrument progressive death metal song. So all is right in their world, join in when you get a chance.
Color Palette - I was looking forward to this set from 'newcomers' Color Palette as I really enjoyed the main man Jay Neymeyer's previous band, Silver Liners. It did not take long to where I saw every bit of the warm and rich sounds in the previous band, yet with a stronger tougher approach here. And that makes me quite happy, as I was not sure the band would be able to really bring it with such urgency early in their existence. But bring it they did, as the deep intensity roared underneath the sprightlier sounds on top. And with warm vocals and catchy indie rock styled melodies, there was little way to avoid catching on to this excellent sound. The band seemed to push each other forward with each and every fine song in their set, whether they were working some popsike moves or headed out to full hard psychedelic rock jams. They are starting out with a full palette and they clearly know how to mix their colors well. I certainly look forward to their forthcoming album, but in the mean time, head out for their live shows as you may as well get in at the beginning here, as they have hit the ground running.
Cartoon of the Night: