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  METROSCENE w/ Myssouri and Golden Arm Trio  
  The Echo Lounge  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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As I drove out of Atlanta Saturday afternoon, I heard an interview with Myssouri on Album 88, including some live in-studio pieces (that sounded amazing, by the way, making me wish the band would perform an acoustic set sometime). I also found out that, unbeknownst to us Minions, Myssouri was opening for Metroscene at The Echo Lounge that night. AND, Myssouri were going to be selling some of the last copies of Malamerica, their difficult-to-find first album. But, since I was facing a two-hour drive to Alabama, I had a difficult decision to make. Was it worth getting home at 3 am just to see Myssouri (and, of course, Metroscene), or should I continue to drive back to Alabama? In one of those inexplicable moments, I went for it, determined to make The Echo Lounge before Myssouri went onstage.

You see, there was an opening band, Golden Arm Trio. Thanks to the Georgia DOT, however, I was stuck in construction traffic and missed them, arriving during Myssouri's sound check. The band struggled with parts of the sound check, and indeed, the first few songs were mixed poorly -- Michael Bradley's voice was almost drowned out. But, by the middle of the set, the problem was settled, and the band plowed into tight, well-focused versions of Malimony and Devil On My Shoulder, in addition to some older and brand new songs. The new songs, especially the band's final piece, Red Lane, hint at a different direction for the band -- one more dependent on guitar solos and intense countrified tremoll -- but the essence of Myssouri is still there. The band understands the value of the goth/western fusion they've created and seem committed to it. To further expand the band's repertoire, though, they are heightening the intensity and the electric components, while streamlining the production. I had hoped for one of those tight Myssouri performances, and I was not disappointed; indeed, I am left anticipating their next release.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the evening, though, was not the music, but the atmosphere. I was reminded tonight why Atlanta attracts up-and-coming musicians looking for community. Not only were the members of Myssouri more than hospitable (indulging the CD wishes of a weary traveler), but also the second band, Metroscene, struck me with their integrity, sincerity, and appreciation of Atlanta's fan support. Although the lead singer admitted he was recently ill, the band put on an energetic, fun show with a variety of musical styles.

My initial thought about Metroscene was "This band is Weezer on steroids" because their first few songs had that familiar bangly pop sound, but with an edge. However, they soon shifted musical gears, including several impressive ballads (quiet, simple, and epic -- not something I hear often anymore). Perhaps the most impressive feat, however, was the band's cover of Major Tom. Even with the lead singer's recent illness, the cover was right on. Unfortunately, poor sound quality again raised its eerie (screeching, moaning) head. Because of poor mixing, Metroscene's cover of Major Tom was often interrupted by booming bass feedback and shaking walls. But the band managed these problems well, ending the set with several rocking tunes and bullhorn vocals that prompted both band members and spectators to jump with bouncy joy. Metroscene proved to be good sons of the Atlanta music scene -- hard working, sincere, energetic, and multi-talented.

Related Links:

A review of Myssouri's latest EP.


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