Gold Motel: 7:55 PM, Canopy Club
Gold Motel made a trek from Chicago to come back one of the first venue’s they ever played. If you missed out in January this was a good chance to see how Greta Morgan went from Chicago local The Hush Sound to high quality surf rock. I got a chance to see them at the beat kitchen in December 22nd during Christmas break, and their progression now from then is amazing. They honestly blew me away with their California inspired sound and how perfectly planned out every song was. At one point Greta asked everyone to try dancing during “Summer House” and I don’t think there was any other option when the rhythm kicked in; the entire crowd was moving to the clean guitar sounds. They closed with a new rendition of “Safe in LA” and then a new special song that is going to get released as a single in October. Overall if you made the journey out to Canopy for the early shows, you got rewarded ten fold.
Colour Revolt: 8:30 PM, Canopy Club
Colour Revolt countered the upbeat feeling of Gold Motel with heavy lyrics, guitar riffs and chords. Simply put, it was great. I have a been a big fan of them for a while now and they did not disappoint. They played the Void Room of the Canopy Club, which was much much smaller than the main stage. Besides lighting issues that were solved with incandescent lamps, the show seemed like it was for a much larger stage; Colour Revolt had great sound to the chugging basslines and played like the crowd was six times larger than it was (the void room was packed towards the end). These guys are true entertainers and no one could resist bopping along to “Moses of the South” and “Naked & Red.”
Candy Claws: 10:30 PM, Art Theatre
I knew very little about Candy Claws when I sat down but instantly I had too many positive feelings. They are a shoegaze band with creative costumes and concepts, my favorite kind of shoegaze. The whole show musically reflected on the tropical feel of their first album In The Dream of Sea Life”. Costume-wise I was torn about what I was seeing; everyone donned a long beard and cat mask except for Ryan (lead vocals), who had a an entire headpiece made of flowers. Throughout every song Ryan danced when he wasn’t singing and he thanked everyone after a song with a prerecorded female’s voice. I thought these guys knew exactly what the sound they wanted was and it was honed incredibly well. Songs like “Catamaran” and “The Sun is My Girl” sounded so much more real and meaningful than now when I listen to them online. It is rare to find what I am going to dub tropical shoegaze but if you come across it, I would sit down and listen. Then debate what the point of the costumes were.
Elsinore: 12:30 AM, Art Theatre
The final set at the Art Theater was Pygmalion veterans Elsinore. This Chambana local band knew the ins and outs of what we want from this festival and the certainly delivered it through multiple mediums. After an emotional and thought out speech on the fact that this show was taking place in the Art Theater and the fact that Pygmalion is still continuing on, Elsinore debuted two radically different music videos for songs on their album Yes Yes Yes on the big screen. The first was a wonderful live action story of a little girl fighting growing up set to the song “Breathing Light”, followed by an animated short to “Wooden Houses”. When the music finally started, Elsinore delivered every song we know (or should know) and love with tons of enthusiasm; a seated crowd even cheered over the band when the unique opener of “Yes Yes Yes” started. The sound at the Art Theater was outstanding and it really showcased the quality of music that our fair little city can produce. For a full range of sound Ryan Groff even called up some friends to play violin and cello to multiple songs. Not once did I ever get bored or fall asleep even though the set ran past 2am; Elsinore was full of energy and life. At the end when Elsinore wanted to call it a night, the crowd was explosive and gave a standing ovation to a special Postal Service cover of “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”. All in all, if you weren’t one of the 250+ members of the audience tonight, you missed one hell of a show.