Sunday, August 14, 2011
I got there a little late, so only caught the tail end of Mercy Years. It was their first show, and they had a pretty catchy indie-pop-rock thing going, with boy/girl vocals. Nothing groundbreaking -- the whole time they reminded me of someone, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it -- but still pretty fun. Their last song was definitely the best of what I heard, ending with big group vocals. It was their first show, and they sounded pretty good for it, so I wouldn't mind seeing them again.
Next up was Rags to Radio, who had a bit more of a garage sound. They had a good energy, but a lot of the songs sounded pretty much the same – especially at the beginning of the set; even their cover of "Money (That's What I Want)" sounded pretty similar. They also had more than their fair share of "whoa-oh's" in lieu of actual lyrics, which was a little distracting.
But that being said, with things like a cowbell-conga-line going through the crowd you could tell they were having fun, and I really liked the last song -- which had more of a brass and drums, big band/swing style -- so that showed me they had potential, but they definitely need work, musically.
Closing out the night at the Biltmore was The Ruffled Feathers, who just keep getting better each time I see them. Fresh back from Oregon where they recorded their new album, they were as tight as ever with their incredibly infection chamber pop and each member (be they in a shirt and tie, fancy dress or tank top) overflowing with enthusiasm and joy, and that definitely seeped into the crowd.
Kicking off the set with "Blueprints for a Failed Revolution", the bulk of the set had Gina Loews on guitar (or ukulele) & main vocals, backed by trupeteer Andrew Lee & Charley Wu, on keys and mandolin. But the two of them also had their turn on vocals, and Gina swapped with bassist Matty Jeronimo for the last song, highlighting the band's diversity.
They showed off their new songs -- my favourite of which was one that may or may not be named "Trick of the Light" -- as well as covering Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros' "Home", after their own "Home", complete with their own modified dialogue in the middle between Gina and Charley.
It was a really fun show, and I can't wait until the new album is out -- and speaking of which, in case you missed my post about it, the band has a Kickstarter Project going to raise the money to get their album professionally mixed. They're a little over half way to their goal, but they only get the money if they reach that goal, so if you have an extra few bucks, why not help out?
But it was only 11 when they ended and the night was not done yet, as it was off to the Backstage Lounge next... (post coming later this evening)