Monday, December 8, 2014

Centro-Matic - Elephant Micah -- DC9 - Dec 7 2014

Elephant Micah - After a delay getting started, the large crowd was treated to a fascinating opening band that was more than worth the wait. Joseph O'Connell is the songwriter, voice, and guitar behind the name. He is assisted by second guitar and sax and a percussionist/keyboardist. The band creates a great sense of space yet offers diverse sounds making these seemingly simple droning folk songs move into ethereal territory. The first song sounds a bit like a spacey Jackson Browne cut, but they drift into Greg Sage (Wipers) solo territory, which is a great place to hang out. The drummer used one hand to play some atmospheric droning keyboard patterns while offering some tasty percussion on a couple of fine numbers. They went over pretty well with the crowd, although bands like this tend to completely engage only portions of the audience. I was in the completely engaged camp as this music, when done this well, is some of my favorite music to drift away with.
Centro-Matic - I find 'farewell tours' kind of creepy in some ways, but they are certainly good for the fans as they know this is the last chance to see a band they have enjoyed, in this case for nearly 20 years. This Texas quartet certainly drew their fans as the club was packed with a diverse crowd that enjoyed their brand of indie rock. The sound is something between the old Nirvana/Sebadoh sound heading into the Iron&Wine/Band of Horses environs. It is all competent with some strong songwriting that I enjoyed more than the strained vocals. Good dynamics musically, so there was enough to enjoy here. Could be the last...

Quote of the Night: From two of the opening musicians...
"They (Centro-Matic) will be sadly playing for the last time."
"They'll be gladly playing."

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