yes, I know, this post is late (no apologies here – life happens) but as they say, better late than never! So, without further ado, here is the review of the bands playing at John Henry’s for Week Four of Last Band Standing:
First Up – Somewhere In The Middle
This Idaho band had only one member out of four show up for the set but it was still really amazing. Aaron Ball (Guitar/Vocals) has a solid vocal and storytelling talent – carrying this acoustic set solo, he still carried it like the professional he is… the vocals were matched with his guitar work, some really nice strummin’ riffs that just shone. Take Smashing Pumpkins and throw in some Guns N’Roses and you get a sense of where this set headed. The last song, “Nancy” was just hysterical. Check their website at http://www.reverbnation.com/aaronballmusic and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Somewhere-in-the-Middle/128927129420. As there was no “band” per se (and that from Idaho), they couldn’t get a solid nod for best Eugene band, but 4.5 out of 5 stars for sheer chutzpah – and I got a hug outta the deal to boot!
Next up – Ata Ghost
ok, the fact that drummer Sam Mohler dressed as The Green Man notwithstanding, this band was really good. Sam on flying drums laid the foundation for this band, with Damian Harris carrying the bass nice and tight throughout. Ben Mohler (brother of Green Man drummer) on lead guitar just looks so good you want to forgive him for anything and everything, including unremarkable guitar work (maybe he was tired) – but he does have great hair! Mychal Sargent on lead vocals did his job well, and interesting use of special effects (a megaphone?) as well as filling pretty on back up vocals – I’m not sure I’m big on the falsetto vocals, but still good. The synthesizer was well placed throughout the set, and had nice back up vocals as well. A good band, everything worked amazingly well enough. Sometimes it got a little sloppy, but they had so much energy it really didn’t seem to matter. It was hard to understand the vocals (lyrics) at times, but when Ben finally let loose with his lead guitar it was worth the wait. 4 out of 5 stars and I also got a hug from the PacMan Ghost out on the dance floor – two hugs for the night, woot! Find the band on their website http://www.ataghost.com/, or http://www.facebook.com/ataghost and http://www.myspace.com/ataghost.
Last Up – This Patch of Sky
A dreamy mix of lead guitar and drums, Joel Erickson on bass guitar snaps with a nice harmonica counterpoint to make it sweet. Now I know why the club was full so late in the evening. Shades of U2 gone hard rock, it was really too sweet to make for a good mosh pit (which they invited the crowd to create). I loved the harmonics of the two guitars weaving in and out – that was amazing. I’m not a screamo fan as everyone knows, so that was a minus. Nice layering from low energy instruments of guitars and drums blending, building to a high energy thrash. I was impressed with the musical ability of this instrumental band, but I would have liked more vocals which this band simply does not do (but I could HEAR them throughout, I wanted to jump on the stage and belt out some Bono). They also got 4 out of 5 stars and our vote for the evening, which evidently carried them into the semi-finals. See them open for Floater at the McDonald on May 21 (I’ll be there, of course!) and find them at http://thispatchofskymusic.com/ or http://www.myspace.com/thispatchofsky and http://www.facebook.com/thispatchofskymusic