Last night, I went to see my friends’ bands perform at the Five Star Bar downtown. I took a couple of pictures but I took them on my old crappy phone and put them through Instagram filters so they’re pretty worthless for actually seeing what’s going on.
The Five Star Bar is pretty cool, I guess. It’s next to Jalisco Bar, which is very cool.
It’s also the kind of bar that plays the entirety of albums like “Damn the Torpedoes” and “Exile on Mainstreet” between bands. It’s very loud. Yes, I realize that bars are supposed to be loud — but the Five Star Bar has tile floors and seldom very many patrons, so the sound really bounces around in there in a nasty way. Always bring earplugs if you go to the Five Star Bar.
Anyway, the between band album choices were a perfect compliment to the Steppe People’s music. This is a very “rock n roll,” rough n tumble band… although their song structures are more novel than Petty or the Stones. There are big drum fills and hella guitar shredding, but it’s not tacky because there aren’t any extended solos and the songs are still nice and short.
Onstage, they seem kind of like how I’d imagine the Replacements were on a good night, but I’ve heard that the Replacements were typically very messy and these guys weren’t messy except in demeanor. Their repertoire is also pretty varied, which I appreciate.
But yeah, this band is really good. Here’s a recording of them live at Pehrspace at some point in the past:
I’m listening to that recording as I type this and really giggling at Bill Gray’s between-song banter. The two of us apparently ask for the exact same thing when we go to the barber shop. For the record, Bill, I think that your hair looks really good.
After the Steppe People came Alone, which features my friends Sean and Liz. They seem to be really in tune with each other when they’re onstage and they’re engaging to watch.
Alone presented a very different vibe than the Steppe People. Sean plays acoustic guitar through an amp, sometimes with a lot of crunchy fuzz, and Liz plays stand up drums with mallets. Before they began to play, Sean asked for a “shitload” of reverb on his voice, and that’s what he got!
Like the reverb on Sean’s voice, Alone’s music is made to wash over you. And last night, it washed over me good. I realize that saying that someone’s band put me to sleep doesn’t SOUND like a complement, but it actually is. They lulled me, and brought me to a very peaceful place; I’ve had insomnia lately so I appreciated it.
I started each song with an attentive attitude, but by the middle of every one I’d become immersed in the vibe and I was starting to drift away… but in a pleasant way. It was really great, actually, and I took the vibe home when me and fell right asleep.
Is that what heroin’s like? I’ve never done it.
Here are two nice Alone songs from Soundcloud: