I know everything came to an absolute standstill with us out of the scene for the past two months (give or take), but TCC is back and badder than ever, with this exclusive review of three of the four bands that played downtown Eugene’s historic WoW Hall last Friday night. It’s a triple-triple shot, featuring three band reviews, plus pictures, PLUS an exclusive pre-show video interview with up-and-coming Jultopia!!
(note – the bands are not reviewed here in the order of their appearance – you’ll understand why at the end)
First: Jultopia (Julian Master – front vox, samples; David Baker – guitar, back-up vox; Mason Kline – drums; Alex Dee – bass)
The night was gorgeous to begin with, and it felt so good to be back listening to live local music. Opening was Jultopia (Julian Master, David Baker, Mason Kline, Alby Dee) – a quirky electronica band built around master Julian (who in a previous lifetime was a hip hop/rap sensation). They were so comfortable on stage you almost forgot these guys are YOUNG but very strong. Julian really is a master showman (can’t help playing with his name, it is way too much fun!),drawing folks up to the stage with seductive hand gestures – he has a definite stage presence.
Taking the band as a whole, you have three musicians working to mesh their instruments with Julian’s samples which they accomplish into a seamless work of art – not easily done, trust me. Totally danceable but I don’t know that description does them justice. Someone could have a lot of fun running a serious psychedelic light/strobe show with some artistically enhanced fog on their beats and it would be indescribable.
Mason’s drums are steady and solid (completely necessary with this amalgamation of sound), laying the foundation with Alex’s bass for David’s guitar work and Julian’s vocals. It was honestly fun to see David’s “two instances of back up vocals” – and he was perfect. The band has impeccable timing, and they obviously enjoy playing together (onstage or off I suspect).
One reader asked, “What’s so special about your live show that would make me want to come out and see you?” In answer, you would just have to see them to understand – if you missed this show you definitely missed out! But here’s a short video of their exclusive interview with EDN’s Laurel of The Club Circuit (with cameo appearance from Adventure Galley’s drummer) to give you a taste of what you missed!
And despite the willful destruction of stuffed animals at the end of the set (with the gleeful assistance of the participating audience), I can promise you that no one (human or animal) was seriously harmed during this performance. I think. We especially loved their closing song, “Touch You” – nice touch (pun intended)!
Third In Line: White Arrows (Mickey Schiff [aka Mickey Church] – front; vox; Juice, Henry Schiff [aka Brother Henry Church – drums], Steven Vernet – guitars, Andrew Naeve)
A good solid alternative rock band, although their FB page calls them “Psychedelic, Electronic, Lo-fi,” we didn’t see that. What we did see was five guys from L.A. taking a detour from their current tour with The Naked and Famous to drop in to our college town and lay down some seriously lovely sounds. While there wasn’t anything all that original that I saw from this set, the band put on a good show.
It did take them awhile to warm up to the audience, but the last half of their set seriously rocked. I’m not sure that the audience caught that tho, they seemed to drift on and off the floor throughout their performance which was rather distracting. Perhaps that’s just a Friday fall night Eugene thing maybe? We’re all ADD and have a 5 minute attention span maybe…
Still, it was an enjoyable end to our evening. We didn’t stay to see And And And (which was our loss I’m sure) – but it had already been a long night after a long day and TCC is still trying to find their way through all the boxes after their relocation!
Second Up (and last on this review because they were SOOOOOOOOOO freeeeking amazing that they rate this spot): Adventure Galley (who seem to want to remain relatively nameless as I can only find their first names posted anywhere!! David, Aaron, George, Jesse, Forrest, and Brock).
First, I have to tell you a short story about this short story. I had gone down to the basement at the WoW Hall between sets to sample some vin, ran back to hear this set, dashed to the merch table to see if I could pry one single solitary unsold copy of Adventure Galley’s CD, grabbed that, and somehow in the process of all that left my pad of paper with notes on the band (the page was open to AG’s review) at the merch table… realized what I had done about 5 minutes later and yelled (quietly) – “Where’s my notes?!!!!” … So I dashed back and grabbed it from the very cute lady at the table who was rather reluctant to hand it back to me… “I was having so much fun READING this!” she exclaimed (glancing at AG’s review). Seriously. This is a true story – just ask her!
I could easily fill a page for each of the individual band members and their on-stage antics and artistry… but I don’t have that much room here. So you MUST go see these guys at the next live show available. They’re a Eugene band who (despite several previous misprints in other publications that they were winners of the 2011 Eugene’s Next Big Thing – they were one of the 4 finalist winners, but not THE winner) had actually won the 2010 MySpace’s “Rock the Space 2” contest (see http://www.myspace.com/toyotamusic). With over 17,000 bands participating, the fact that it was a EUGENE local band that won should not be any surprise. Their musicianship, showmanship, and overall joie-de-vivre that they put out at the show on Friday night blew us away.
So, Adventure Galley is tight and hot and they know what electronica is supposed to sound like. What was also nice was seeing them transition from electronica to straight alt/punk rock with heavy guitars without losing energy. Yes, the energy changes, but it is a matter of definition, not level. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see them break like Foster The People and Chain Gang of 1974 have recently done.
Find all these bands on Facebook, ReverbNation, and their personal websites – but definitely catch them live if you have the chance to do so!!