Case in point, not one person was drinking PBR during this event. Although Poor House is known
for its wide selection of fine craft beers, the place usually fills up
with dudes with perfect hair, wearing skinny jeans and tightly clutching
their cans of cheap suds. The change in beverage consumption was so
noticeable, I nearly had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw a
girl drinking a glass of red wine.
Three gourmet sliders later, New Times pal Chris Horgan stepped onto the stage. The
Sweet Bronco frontman was going it alone tonight, first sitting behind a
piano for a stark and beautiful cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "The
Boxer." County Grind was introduced to this cover back in March, but seeing it live was quite a treat.
played for more than an hour, both behind the piano and on guitar. He
alternated between covers including Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" and originals like
he took a seat at the piano once more, the gentle opening notes of
Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" filled the air. Most Neil fans claim After the Gold Rush or his
work with Crosby, Stills, and Nash. But Harvest Moon is my album, and
Chris' version took me back to a ride in the back seat of my parents'
car, circa 1992.
Up next was Lavola, which had its album Leaving Paris named New Times Best Of 2011 Reader's Choice. As soon as the first
song kicked in, I found myself bouncing up and down to the beat. They're
so damned easy to dance to, and frontman Julian Cires was a blast to
watch -- all swinging
hips and guitar, spinning in circles. Drummer Brian Weinthal held the
rhythm steady, making much of the crowd do a little shimmying. Lavola has
an unmistakable At the Drive In influence, but they're not as
scattered. The band kept things tight and focused.
what seemed like the longest wait of the evening, Young Circles began
their sound check. The bassist did a fair amount of noodling at the outset. The first song started
out slow and spacy, but soon the band launched into full-on
assault, with big fuzzy guitars and crashing drums.
then switched to a big heavy rock sound that smashed the room to pieces. A veritable "genre soup," according to my
description for a band of guys unafraid to play with guitar feedback,
effects, and dreamy synthesizers.