Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Let's Independent!" - Parson Red Heads

Well, Joe Fielder did it again on Tuesday night (June 17) with this months installment of "Let's Independent!" at Boardner's. Another evening of superb music, superior sound quality and a great bunch of bands, fans, and friends in the audience. The music kicked off with The Hidden Hooks giving his first public performance, which was hard to believe given the amazing sound he produced. With just enough prerecorded atmosphere, Chris Johnston performed alone with a guitar, a set of beautiful compositions, finely sung and played. His voice reminded me a little of The Ruby Suns' Ryan Mcphun, with a similar, warm quality. The audience, including myself, seemed a little bit stunned at what we were hearing...nobody moved, except for swaying back and forth. I spoke briefly afterward to congratulate him and pick up the CD he was giving out (which seems to be both his EP's combined as it has 16 tracks). It's wonderful. I listened to it probably 5 or 6 times the next day, it's so hypnotic and addictive.
Up next was Buddy, a 7-piece band that performed really tight, peppy Indie-rock that was beautifully sung. The music surges forward relentlessly with each song building on inself into a thrilling crescendo. Terrific energy from the lead singer, Buddy, who, at one point, bounded off the stage to dance and sing throught the crowd, around the candle fountain and back up onto the stage, to the audience's delight.
We were pretty primed when The Parson Red Heads went on. Now, I've seen these people 6 times, but many I spoke to were seeing them for the first time. What's remarkeable to me is that I've seen them play with up to 14 players, yet every time there are less than that, and last night there were 5, there is never a drop in the quality of the music or a loss in the level of performance. They're incredible, and even new fans were impressed. Credit Evan Way with fronting a band of dedicated musicians. They played their hearts out and sounded superb. Special credit to Sam Fowles for what seemed like extra duty on harmony vocals, he and Evan blended together beautifully, and to Brette Marie Way for her great drumming. They even had the courage to begin with 2 new songs which sound like 2 of their best songs, the undeniable '60's vibe being something that just seems to come naturally to them.
This evening was so much fun I even stayed around for 45 minutes after the music had finished just to chat with the bands and to meet some great new people. My head felt well fed!


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