Beat Conection - This four piece comes from Seattle, sounding nothing like Seattle, at least in most people's minds. Instead there is a combination of subtle style shifts within a bright and rhythmic modern pop approach. Everything sounds a little bit too synthesized for my tastes sort of like a good live band's overly slick studio approach. Except this time, it is the live sound that seems a bit off for me. They are very loud, overly so for songs that have some warmth at their heart, thus enforcing the colder techno sounds. They had a warm enough reception, so a younger audience probably enjoys this sound more than I do. There were a few songs that could be quite good with a better arrangement. But we will see where they go from here.
Django Django - There is a similar instrumental look onstage with keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums, but the sound is so much better with this UK band. They have a harder rocking popsike sound early on, but shift into various sonic landscapes with guest saxophones, acoustic and percussion duos and differing degrees of intensity. What is really outstanding is their vocal work, powerful, harmonized, and quite creative at times. When they cranked it up, they reminded me of a hybrid of the Zombies and Ride, driving hooks home. They had great energy and personality along with projections low stage back lighting, which made for a great live show. Their album is also excellent, so this is a band I intend to follow and I am sure most of the crowd is with me there.
Quote of the Night (well, from the band's Wikipedia page): "Our name has nothing to do with Django Reinhardt". Good, although if they had a side project, it seems Reinhardt Reinhardt would be the perfect name (ala Kinski's side project being called Herzog).