On Saturday night, High Anxiety Music threw a house party, and luckily for anybody with a case of beer in hand, The Brother Whys, Sunset Stallion, and Snowsera provided all the music that Champaign noise ordinance might allow. The slightly run-down house on the corner of State and White appeared initially as if I had the wrong location for the show. But inside the rooms were cleared with enough room for the bands to play and any soul brave enough to go out and enjoy some good music during finals week.
Standing in the mostly vacant house before the Sunset Stallion went on, I reminisced eerily of previously attended awkward frat parties. Then I realized that more and more people were walking in to hang out, and someone’s iPod was playing Saves The Day on the main speakers. I ran into Stan from Santa and he hinted to me that young and blooming Sunset Stallion features Santa bass player, Otto Stuparitz, drummer Marty, and dual vocal duties by Chad and Hannah. The group’s set was intermixed with catchy forms of upbeat folk rock and straight piano rock, and every time the band picked it up a bluesy tendency sprouted from the foursome. Sunset Stallion boasted their potential on their keys driven tracks, while their more guitar-fronted licks could use some fine tuning. Marty told me they had only been together for a few months, and seeing bands in their infancy like this one make me interested for what they might evolve into.
After an interlude of beer and cigarettes more good music as a backdrop, it was time for The Brother Whys to strut their stuff, stuff I’ve been meaning to catch for awhile. Almost like a pleasurable flash of déjà vu, this band had a female vocalist center stage as well. The group wasted no time getting their rock on and seeing how much foot-pounding the current dwelling of the High Anxiety Music Center could handle. The heavily guitar-backed songs fronted with vocals by Tom Riordan and Kelly Turner gave hints of forceful lyrical phrases, not forced of course. The heavy fun brought by The Brother Whys’ set sent me right back to when I used to worship The Get Up Kids, and the backbeat to a lot of their songs hints that someone in the group may have listened to The Promise Ring or Piebald.
To close out the evening, Snowsera came to serve up a dose of their on-stage attitude with a bunch of songs included. Bill and Jeff ripped with some sort of rabid connection between drums and vox, which I’m not sure I understand yet, and Nate and Ian handled their respective axes with craftsmanship. I cannot wait until these guys put out another recording, and from what I’ve been told the band are working on a short release at Gallery of Carpet, one Chicago-based studio that I think possesses a knack for helping smaller bands experiment with their sound. Unfortunately, midway through the Snowsera set, the cops threatened the High Anxiety Management with a noise violation. So as to not throw away the entire evening’s admissions, everyone willingly brought the evening to a close, but no dissatisfaction loomed. Sunset Stallion, The Brother Whys, and Snowsera are all playing at the Canopy Club’s Tribute to Local Bands in celebration of the venue’s 10th anniversary. So to celebrate the end of finals week, go check out these high energy bands, and make sure to give yourself a preview on Myspace while you cram.

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