Tag: live music

February 10th 2017: Wasted Info, Well Below Average, Maddock, Time Cat, and Joose

 

Wasted Info
Wasted Info is still pretty new to the scene, but they’ve already acquired a palpable sense of comfort on-stage. Their hazy style of alt-rock is peppered with charming self-jabs between songs (“We’re Wasted Info, and this song is called Wasted Info, because we’re lazy,” said with a smile by singer-guitarist Kennedy Krahe). I’ve seen them perform a couple of times between their first show at Basement Transmissions and this show, and they have experienced a lot of growth in that time and have a lot of potential.

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Well Below Average
They not only bring great pop-punk to the stage, but they’re absolutely hilarious. They played with a slightly different line-up than usual (Kyle Hammer of Primal Scream Therapy stepping in to play bass for Lyle Sallade, bringing metal band hairstyles and windmilling with him) but you would have never known this wasn’t their normal set. Their stage presence is great, and they play a fun mix of covers and originals. There was also a mention of the now infamous Sunny D (vocalist Brett Dennis at some point announcing he would not be continuing the set unless someone brought him some Sunny D, but quickly abandoning the idea when he realized the crowd member running to the basement of the venue to retrieve a bottle would probably take slightly longer than planned). They don’t seem to have much in the way of material online, but I’m hoping to see more from them in the future.

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Maddock
One of my favorite local acts, three-piece Maddock consists of some of the most seriously, insanely talented highschool-age musicians I’ve ever seen perform. Andrew Henderson, guitarist and vocalist (also of the band The Sex Blossoms), opened the set by handing out dysfunctional Valentines in a take-one-and-pass-one fashion while starting a dialogue about how most holidays seem to involve death or someone who was murdered. (“Yes, even Christmas,” – a crowd member questioned this, and Andrew grabbed the mic to emphasize his seriousness – “Jesus was killed, sir.”) They have an album out called It’s Drowning Out, which is on my regular listening rotation in iTunes, but they played a large amount of new material, and all of it is genuinely great. Maddock always puts on an energetic performance, but I found that at this show in comparison to other shows I’ve seen them play, there was a lot more crowd interaction between songs, and all three members seemed more at-home on stage than ever.

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Time Cat
I recently did a small write-up on Akron Ohio’s Time Cat over here, and they were everything I hoped for and more. The band is completely electric on stage, and singer Jeri Sapronetti is impressive and intense. Their sound is an incredible mix of vintage funk and rock-throwbacks with modern refinement and catchy lyrics, and their dress sense on stage matches their sound. It was definitely shake-it-and-dance type music and the crowd reflected it. One of the last songs of the night was Boozled, which I had been looking forward to, and the performance of the song live was even better than on recording. I can’t wait for them to make it back to Erie.

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SoundCloud

Joose
I’ve written about Joose before over here, from their show on January 13th, and they did not disappoint this time around, either. The band was on-point and put on a fantastic set (and the once duct tape and panda suit clad bassist, Matt George, was in a king costume, which seems worthy of note), but the true gem of a Joose show is the crowd. I still have never seen anything like a Joose show. I think I thought that, maybe, the previous show was a fluke, and the crowd was just in a special mood that day, but I’ve come to the realization that this is just the effect that Joose has on an audience. There was a conga line (as hoped for, I finally got to participate in it instead of just marveling at it in surprise), there were people getting on the floor in lines and making rowing motions, there was a man sitting in the lotus position as people held hands and ran circles around him, there was someone holding Sunny D above their head and spinning as people raised their arms in praise, and there was a cuddle pit. During one song (Growth, specifically) two people got down on the floor and laid there, and soon a good majority of the crowd joined them, turning a once roiling pit into a suddenly tame cuddle-fest in the middle of the venue floor, which lasted until the end of the song. “MEET ME IN THE PIT” is now an ambiguous phrase, where you’re unsure if they’re threatening you with a good time or just plain threatening you, thanks to Joose.

Also memorably, and quite fitting for the tone of the night, the show ended in a group hug on stage between members of Joose and the audience.

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Thanks to Jessi Szczesny/JLS Photography for the photos!

BT’s Acoustic Showcase: February 3rd, 2017

Basement Transmissions regularly hosts Acoustic Showcases, where artists can come play an acoustic set in the back room of the venue. These shows are a lot cozier, with an atmosphere similar to a houseparty full of musicians appreciating each other’s work. Musicians Wrath ($ubHerb/Matt Maas) and DC (Desmond Collier) were among the performers last Friday, and let me film a sample of their set before the show.

January 28th 2017: BT’s Brutal Boogaloo with Smooth Stone Philosophers, Chillin’ with the Primates, Gelatin Skeleton, Bravura, Amavasya, and Primal Scream Therapy

January 28th 2017: BT’s Brutal Boogaloo with Smooth Stone Philosophers, Chillin’ with the Primates, Gelatin Skeleton, Bravura, Amavasya, and Primal Scream Therapy

This past Saturday’s show at Basement Transmissions demonstrated the exact reason why you should go to local shows: great music, amazing connections between bands and audiences, and partying with Sunny D. The entire show was just fun, and all around a great lineup of rock and metal.

Smooth Stone Philosophers
For being their first show, I certainly won’t forget Smooth Stone Philosophers anytime soon. They played a mix of covers and original songs, and worked 3 co-vocalists into their set well. But most memorably, amongst the cohesive 90s aesthetic of the rest of the band, one of the vocalists/guitarists was a very charismatic man in a kilt.

Chillin’ with the Primates
Two bands in the original show lineup for the night couldn’t make it due to inclement weather, and these guys in Chillin’ with the Primates stepped up last minute and played a solid set without a hitch. Their music is 80s influenced hard rock (with stand-out bass playing), and they ended their set with a song titled after the band….which was cute and folksy, lyrically detailing literally chilling with primates on an idyllic tropical island. This was charmingly disarming after the tone of the rest of their songs, and displayed the sense of humor the band possessed and demonstrated the entire night – a favorite moment was one of guitarists telling a facepalm-worthy corny joke between songs: “What do Winnie the Pooh and Ivan the Terrible have in common? The same middle name.” (ba dum tsh)

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Gelatin Skeleton

Gelatin Skeleton is really unique in how strongly their musical presence contrasts their personal presence onstage: between songs, band members were cordial and laid-back while speaking to the audience, but as soon as the music began, the band became a different beast entirely and the atmosphere changed dramatically. Everything about their music is solid (and you have to appreciate “songs about Mermaids and shit”, as quoted from singer Terry Crebel) and the vocals were beyond impressive. There was also a fantastic one-band crab-dance mosh pit, courtesy of headliners Primal Scream Therapy.

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ReverbNation

 

Bravura

Stand-Out Track: Levitate
I don’t know if Bravura’s set marked the true beginnings of the Sunny D epic, but this is when I first noticed it….and Bravura took it and ran with it (not literally, but more on that later). The Sunny D, brought by a group of people attending the show, definitely became an interactive part of the night: Bravura singer Steven Attenborough even exclaiming “this set brought to you by Sunny fucking D” some time after drinking from a bottle (then shoving the mouth of said bottle up his nose). These antics in no way overshadowed the talent or immensely energetic stage presence of the band themselves, though – Bravura’s combination of charismatic stage presence and style of well-thought-out, rock-your-face-off progressive metal make for one of the best shows you can get.

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Amavasya

Stand-Out Track: Fruition
Somehow, in a night of nothing but rock and metal, I was completely taken off guard by Amavasya. There was almost no warning – just a nod among members on stage – before jumping straight into one of the hardest, fastest, heaviest sets I’ve ever seen. They have an incredibly fast and active stage presence to match their relentless playing style, and a well-formed brand of progressive metalcore that sets them apart. It’s also worth mentioning that at one point during the set, a member of the crowd ran (literally, this time) in circles shaking a bottle of Sunny D above their head to the music, as if celebrating the spoils of a hard-fought victory.

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iTunes

 

Primal Scream Therapy

Stand-Out Track: Headsman
Over the course of personally seeing shows at Basement Transmissions, I’ve seen Primal Scream Therapy three times, and each time is better than the last. This was their first headlining show, as well as their album funding show, and I’ve seen them progress so much as a band. They put a lot of thought and effort into not only their music, but their presentation as well, and they have a clearly developed aesthetic and performance style. Their level of energy on stage is incredible, and their potential is pretty much limitless. A particularly memorable moment from the show was when the majority of the band joined the audience in the center of a circle pit with their instruments, and a few members of the crowd joined the singer and drummer on stage to headbang – while shaking bottles of Sunny D with such vigor that I was pretty sure they were going to explode. Primal Scream Therapy is hands-down one of the most fun bands in Erie to see (and they did an impressive cover of The Trooper by Iron Maiden, which gets major props from me).

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Sunny D

Stand-Out Track: Tasting Like Oranges Even Though It Isn’t Even Made of Oranges
I never thought of Cincinnati, Ohio natives Sunny D as rock or metal – or even musically inclined at all, really – but it definitely knew how to work a crowd. Having joined us in the form of two-liter soda bottles, all bottles impressively lasted multiple sets. They endured every encounter with audience members and musicians alike with incredible flavor and durability, thankfully rupturing on no one in the course of being in the pit and moshing. Some people might think it’s orange juice, but Sunny D is so much more: tasting exactly like someone challenged someone else to make orange juice without oranges, and at least marginally succeeding. Would see again.

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Thanks to Jessi Szczesny/JLS Photography, Joey Dunn and Jared Keyes for photos!

Photos: Jurassic Skatepark EP Release Show

Photos: Jurassic Skatepark EP Release Show

Thanks to Jessi Szczesny/JLS Photography for the photos! Jurassic Skatepark will also be playing a show at Basement Transmissions this coming weekend on Saturday February 4th with Ashes of a Generation, Mallory Run, and Into The Harbor. You can find the event page here.

Photos: Primal Scream Therapy, Amavasya, Bravura, Gelatin Skeleton, Chillin With The Primates, and Smooth Stone Philosophers on January 28th 2017

Photos: Primal Scream Therapy, Amavasya, Bravura, Gelatin Skeleton, Chillin With The Primates, and Smooth Stone Philosophers on January 28th 2017

Thanks to Jessi Szczesny/JLS Photography for the photos, and keep an eye out for the show write-up this week.

Video: Guidance by Amavasya

Check out the official music video for Amavasya’s song Guidance. You can find tracks from them on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. They’re also supporting Primal Scream Therapy with Smooth Stone Philosophers, Vertigo Freeway, Gelatin Skeleton, The Impurity and Bravura on Saturday, January 28th. You can find the event page here