It seems like i practically live at The EARL these days, and yet it hardly seems like they have been open for five years already. Nonetheless, this weekend was their fifth anniversary party, and it was a doozey.
The first act tonight was The
High Strung, who we here at EvilSponge tend to enjoy. They
are an old-fashioned garage rock act out of Detroit/New York
City. It's a very retro sound, with little bits of The Who,
The Stones, and The Beatles all mixed together with some other
late 60's rock sounds that i can't really identify. (This is
Tracer's genre more than mine, really.) However, they have a
heck of a lot of fun doing it, and there is a generally high
level of musicianship involved. Just watch the bassist's and
guitarist's fingers fly over their respective fretboards during
Anyway. they only played a half-hour set, but it was really fun. The crowd, what little there was at this early hour, really seemed to get into it. I know i did.
After that, there was a short break before Chapel Hill, NC's The Rosebuds took the stage. I have heard their album before, and i found it to be pleasant keyboard-driven pop. Very nice and catchy. Indeed as the band set up i saw that they were a three piece of keyboards, guitar, and drums. However, when they started to play it was less pop, more rock, as a wall of guitar sound overpowered the keyboards. In fact, it took the sound guy a few songs to really get the keyboards mixed right. But even after that point, the keyboards still remained a sonic accent to the guitar and less a driving force. This is very different from what i have heard of their album, but it really worked in a live setting.
I don't know if it was the presence of fans of headliner Grupo Fantasmo (a latin dance act) or what, but people really got into this set. There was even a two-guy mosh pit for a while, and that's something you rarely see at The EARL. In general, The Rosebuds' set was typified by beer-toting Indie Rockers dancing much more than they usually do. A really good time.
Overall, both of these bands put on great energetic sets, and i highly urge anyone to go see either of them when you get the chance.
Alas, after all that excitement (and last night's
excursion into goth/metalhead-land) we were exhausted, so
we headed for home before seeing Grupo Fantasmo. However, a
lot of people have told me that they put on a really good set...
Maybe next time.