It was a Tuesday night, and I planned to have
dinner with a friend, then go home and do laundry. But then,
as I walked down a street in East Atlanta, another friend came
over and said that I really needed to come to The Echo Lounge
and see the show. Without really pondering the possibilities
of sleep deprivation or other intangibles, I thought, "Why not?"
and headed out.
It was only when I got to the venue that I realized I had no idea who I was coming to see.
Anyway, shortly after I paid my money and got a drink, the
first band took the stage. They were called The Rolling Blackouts,
and are apparently a standard issue 4 piece rock band from LA.
Musically, they seemed to play a variation on garage rock, although
they had an occasional 70s-esque funk/rock song thrown in. On
their best, more jangly songs, they were reminiscent of Seersucker
(an Atlanta band from the 90s) or, perhaps, a combination of
the distortion/speed of The
High Strung, the poppiness of The
Possibilities, and the reverb of The
Rock*a*Teens thrown in a blender. This mixture had the side
effect of smoothing out any distinctive edges, so that The Rolling
Blackouts had a more homogenous feel than I perhaps care for
After The Rolling Blackouts apparently finished their set, their bassist stayed on stage and told the audience that he was a huge fan of The Wedding Present, and that The Wedding Present's drummer was in the crowd, and would he come up and play a song with them. So with this new drummer and a different guitarist, the bassist then played a somewhat sloppy but still impressive cover of Dalliance, off The Wedding Present's 1991 release, Seamonsters. Ah….this was why my friend had told me to come, and it was well worth it, although I wish they would have played a few more covers.
At this point, I asked around to see if anyone had heard of
the second band. No-one had. Therefore, it was a complete surprise
when Boston-based The Explosion took the stage. A five piece
combo, complete with a real, live lead singer, they played standard
issue punk in the vein of Rancid, or some mid-80s Southern California
band who I can't think of at the moment. Now, this might not
seem like a recommendation, but I like punk music, especially
in a live setting. I think it's fun, and seeing 5 young guys
bounce around the stage and yell out lyrics (in a melodic way,
I must admit) just re-energized me.
Finally, at a somewhat early hour, the headliners, Burning Brides, came on. This outfit are a three piece, with an extremely energetic drummer, a talented female bassist, and a male vocalist/guitarist. Instead of punk or garage, they played harder straight-up rock music. The crowd around me really seemed to get into it, and I have to confess I too was impressed by their energy and prowess. Like The Explosion, Burning Brides' music was fun and compelling, and they reminded me a little of Athens' Hayride, which is a good thing. Not particularly original, but then again, if the music and song-writing are solid, then originality can be over-rated.
So, when the show ended, I realized it had been a very enjoyable evening. Even though I hadn't planned to come to the show, and didn't know what I was in for, all of the bands were good. And that made me quite happy I had not stayed home and done laundry after all.