Despite my upset stomach from a bout with some bad chicken yesterday, I decided to suck it up and put on my party pants leggings to check out a few bands playing at a local club. Not just any club – I hit Amigos, which is a rareity for me on a Tuesday night, or almost any weeknight. I couldn’t pass this one up though, so I donned the most hippy-ish dress I could find (last time I wore a leather jacket and stuck out like a sore thumb) and braved the hoards of plaid-laden hipsters – a worthwhile effort to see one of my favorite indie artists, Hollerado.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the eccentric, eclectic styles – I just don’t have that imminent aura of hipster (or was it pot?) hovering over me, nor do I have a flannel shirt, a cashmere scarf, funky glasses, or a beard. Regardless of my failure to fit in – good music is good music, and Amigos was where it was at.
If I was looking for a reason to be out on a Tuesday, I got one. The night started with Hamiltion-based group...coincidentally called ‘The Reason’. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of them before (partially due to my own ignorance) despite their many successes over the past few years. At first they reminded me a bit of the Counting Crows – but that proved to be far from the case by the second song. When James “Cubby” Nelan wasn’t on keys, he was one of three guitarists, and my ears were met with a massive wall of thick and juicy indie rock sound. Vocalist Adam White was a bit under the weather, though he never showed it, and truth be told - I’m a sucker for a harsh phlegm filled voice, it’s kind of sexy (get your mind out of the gutter).
After hearing one of their older songs, Subways in Pittsburgh (requested by a fellow that had been battling leukemia) – I was sold, and picked up their newest album. There’s a reason why these guys have a solid reputation for their live performance.
My ADD kicked in slightly for the next group, Free Energy – likely because I was out on a Tuesday, or I was still playing “spot the plaid”. There were a few songs that did spark my limited attention span though– and judging by the lack of folks in their seats, it's safe to say their stage presence fed the room with just that – an energy free-for-all. Even though they did perform on David Letterman and are about to embark on a tour stint with Weezer - the singer reminded me a bit of the kid from the pop group The Stereos, with the exception that I actually liked the music. The song I did take a liking to was “Bang Pop” – which was a bit more on the pop rock side, and at that point – all I could think of was the Stereos – though a completely different genre, less fromage, and minus gaggles of screaming bubble-gum-pop tween girls.
Can you see the resemblance?
(Sorry but I couldn't resist)
Free Energy VS The Stereos
(Free Energy photo courtesy Kathleen Hill)
Then there was Hollerado – the Human 8-bit Experiment in the flesh - who capped the night off. Despite getting caught in a snow storm, the mural of a van arrived just as I was pulling up. It was too far past my bedtime however, so I didn’t stick around for the entire set. Though I kind of wish I had, as I did hear rumors of silly string and party poppers. But, to my pleasure they did start things off with my two favorites – Americanarama and Juliette. I can’t comment on the rest since I wasn’t there – but having seen Hollerado and feasting on heaping plates of nachos a few times in the past, I’m sure they impressed the Tuesday night concert-goers.
So, I got to see some good music – on a Tuesday night no less. But I’ve realized this – I enjoy music of all sorts, and despite the great people (hipsters or not), there are just some places where I will never really fit in. Try as I might – and even if it is in style - I can never wear layers of plaid. It reminds me too much of my school years which are better left forgotten. And it wasn't in style back then.
And if I actually was able to grow a beard – something is definitely wrong.