Karma Killers - There is a loud whoop from various spots in the large crowd when the opening band walks on to the dark stage. That raises my antennae, since this is a New Jersey band, it isn't just friends and relatives, but people excited for music. In DC, that means young people excited for music. And this quartet delivers some powerful glam rock with plenty of energy and just enough posture. They rework 'I Want Candy' which pleases the crowd, although it just reinforces how out of place I feel for this set. They lived up to their name with me, but were effective enough with the crowd, who are their target audience. Two more bands to come.
Arkells - The good thing about some younger bands connecting with their younger audience is that they can be skilled enough in the songwriting department to allow an old fogie like me into their world. The Arkells have a number of songs where I can forget about any great divides and just lose myself in their music. There are keyboards which shift from some intriguing counterpoint piano to synthesizer fills. The guitars have plenty going on. It is all quite earnest, but stops just short of syrupy. There were a few too many singalongs, which actually succeeded well enough, so I am in the minority about that issue. They get extra credit for employing true three-part harmonies, too. There was good energy and sincerity throughout the set, so this really pushed forward the powers of rock music tonight.
Dreamers - A muscular power trio is next, although the bassist adds some keyboards at times to take their thick sound even further. The melody in the vocals bring out the pop component, but the band has a great fierce, churning approach underneath it all. The drums are busy and interesting working well with the thick fuzzy bass lines that spread the sound out to every corner of the room. The guitar parts are interesting and even drone out their patterns much more than I expected. Even a song like 'It's Never Too Late to Dance' has a fierce rhythm guitar line. Again, there is plenty for young rock fans to dig here, but these guys also have the ability to take any rock fan in and give them something they can relate back to, while still sounding fresh and invigorating.
Facebook Grab of the Night: Cheap joke, I know, but I like font miscues.