The Silverites - This Baltimore band boasts the basic twin guitar quartet lineup with the added bonus of four vocalists, although the rhythm guitarist handles most lead duties. The vocals are a little thin, which sometimes is an issue here in this small narrow Adams Morgan bar. Capacity is good as it goes back a long way with lots of seating. And it is the usual type of crowd for a free show, a mix of people here for the specific bands along with people popping in and out enjoying the sounds. The band is rocking quite well and the sound is mixed well for the instruments with the drum sound exploding off the brick walls. This band moves around between indie rock with one song sounding very much like Hüsker Dü to barroom rock to singer songwriter style and most often to power pop, where they are most fun. They covered Nick Lowe's 'Heart of the City' which is a great choice and gives an anchor to where they succeed best with their songs.
Braddock Station Garrison - This local quartet gives off the same look as the opening band and is certainly close enough in sound to be well paired tonight. Yet there are plenty of differences as well. The vocals are a bit stronger and more assured with a nice range evoked through their varied songs. The musicianship is subtle with a focus on the song and tasty arrangements designed to enhance the song as opposed to showing off excessive technique. They mention a song has a Big Star vibe and I agree, although I am also hearing some Nick Lowe-Dave Edmunds style as well (although that could be carryover on my part due to 'Heart of the City'). Their cover is a Leonard Cohen song, 'Bird on a Wire' which they rock up just a wee bit and it comes off quite cleverly in the end. Another fine Black Squirrel free show, where you can get far more than the average bar band show.
Quote of the Night: From a guy standing next to me (with actually a good question from someone who walked into a bar and got free live music)...
"Is this band playing cover songs from just one band?"
"No, I believe they are mostly originals."