Dead Professional - I always look forward to having this trio on the bill. You are assured of one fine set and invariably get some excellent bands with them. I appear not to be the only one who thinks this way as there is a sizable crowd that is here for a relatively early start. They are treated to Dead Professional's blend of Americana, indie rock, with a smidgen of power pop in the mix. There are some songs that are more Americana than others, although there is an urban sensibility to it, so it flows honestly and effectively. There is not a whole lot of flash, but some great songwriting and solid playing. The band chuckled that they were not used to an audience taking them so seriously. Sadly that is the exception to the rule far too often, but it just may continue for this band.
Duskwhales - Somehow I have missed this Manassas trio until now. As I have said before only a few times--my loss. They balance assertive power pop with popsike and play with tempos and forms that make it exciting for rockers and pop fans alike. the keyboards are a great influence on the melody and the overall vibe with the guitar offering a crisp strumming to counter. The drums carry it along and the vocals are pretty wild. I am reminded a bit of the Dickies, but then Sparks comes to mind as probably what the vocal and even some of the musical style relates to best. It is catchy, playful, and great fun. Not a band to be missed if you get the chance (and why not just make the chance).
Diane Coffee - I certainly don't mind drummers moving front and center downstage to show off their other skills if they have them ala Grant Hart, Dave Grohl, and a few others. I was hoping that Foxygen's drummer would have some of those skills in the vocals and melodic songwriting and he quickly proved that he had. Serious vocal gymnastics stood out immediately and throughout. The band had more of a supple backing approach to laying the foundation for the wild vocal runs. But the band also could step to the plate and bring forward some sharp guitar moves and keyboard passages. His stage patter was even crazier as he sounded like he could pass an audition to be the studio announcer for The Price is Right. But then it was quickly on to more music, which caused more dancing than I usually see on a Sunday night. But this was a great crowd enthusiastically reacting to three different yet excellent bands, so it made perfect sense.
Facebook Grab of the Night: If you can't get to DC Rock Live or other writers of the local scene, feel free to apply this handy chart I found to whatever music you are presently discovering: