Following an impressive set from local favorites Elsinore, Milwaukee-based Decibully faced an enthusiastic opening night crowd as they took to the Void Room stage Wednesday, at the Canopy Club. Despite warnings of a broken air-conditioner, a steady stream of Pygmalion fans, (and fellow musicians alike), caught the group as they made their first appearance in CU since headlining the Canopy last February.
With 7 members in tow, Decibully used every inch of space on stage, connecting with the audience through the hushed a cappella introduction lead by vocalist William Seidel. Though initially appearing much more mellow then expected, the group came to life 3 songs in with a soul-tinged rendition featuring a chilling call-and-response style group vocal.
Conscientious of their time restriction, Decibully transitioned through a number of songs with hardly a word, stopping only to appropriately tune their instruments. Despite the wide repertoire of instruments within the group, it feels constraining to try and sum their sound up as indie or folk-rock or alt-anything other than moving. Reaching their time limit too soon, the band closed their set with the catchy “Don’t Believe the Hype.” In spite of the warning placed in the song’s title, it seems that Decibully managed to not only entertain the late-night crowd, but also gain a legion of new fans amongst those who really did “believe the hype.”
Times New Viking
An interesting but somehow still appropriate transition from the calming style of Decibully, Ohio natives Times New Viking ripped into the remaining Canopy Club crowd with their raucous brand of lo-fi rock. Throughout the early technical difficulties, TNV drummer Adam Elliott entertained the crowd with murmurs of what was to come, proclaiming, “that’s why we play loud. It’s a trick. We can’t really sing.” While I’ve certainly heard worse vocalists, Elliott’s comment actually played into the true appeal of the band: the noise. Though most would assume noise to be a negative idea, TNV’s mastery of blown speakers and amplified guitar is what drives people to the group. The loud, fast, hard ideals of early punk-rock have clearly been manifested in the unassuming trio.
Despite the late start, the band was still able to cover a number of songs, including several from their 2008 Matador Records release Rip It Off, as well as at least one new number. Just as Decibully before them, the band seemed to reach their time limit incredibly fast, ending with the appearance of extreme satisfaction from not only the band themselves, but also the dedicated crowd that reached the 2:15 a.m. ending. Judging by the chatter of Pygmalion fans as they left the Canopy Club soon after, this year’s festival is off to a successful start.