I had a great time seeing music Friday night. The show was set from 9-midnight, so just after 8:30 I took the short walk to Radio Bean. I got in and settled around 9, and soon after, the stage began to fill with instruments. Around 9:30 the lights dimmed and Swale’s tuning coalesced into a powerfully gentle version of Soft Fireworks. The quiet power of the song held the full crowd in silent awe. When the magic of the song faded to smoke, they let it slip into a sweet version of Dimedrop. Who else but Swale would celebrate the release of their new album by starting with two songs from their first EP? The first set stayed pretty mellow, with killer sweet versions of Overcoat and Soul Piggy Bank. They said something about Tyler Bolles saying the next one was pretty depressing, and played a sweet version of Beaten Down. Old School kept things pretty mellow, then they let loose a killer version of If You Get Lost to wrap up the first set.
After a five minute break Ryan Miller took the stage solo, with a mic and an electric guitar. He played a sincere version of Moon River then rocked out with a fun indie rock song I did not know. He then moved to the Keys for a new Guster song. It was pretty sweet. He then picked up an acoustic guitar and brought up Joe Adler (‘I don’t play drums”) to play drums and trolled the audience to find a keyboard player. No one jumped up, so he had Amanda Gustafson sit in and taught her the song. They played a pretty good version of Guster’s Satellite. It was a bit rough but fun to watch professionals learn the song on the spot. For the next song he kept them on stage and asked for a bass player. Tyler stepped up and they rocked out a fun version of Rhiannon.
Next it was time for Swale’s second set. Ryan and Joe left the stage, then Jeremy Frederick headed back to the drum kit and Eric Olsen grabbed his guitar. They kicked things off with You Are Not The Photograph and got the audience rocking. Joyless started slow and ended heavy. Jack Sharp rocked hard and fast. Edible suffered from some guitar technical difficulties, but they held it together pretty well and it was neat to hear the clarity of the other instruments on the song, at least until the guitar came back and rocked us hard. Amanda took lead vocals on the next one and stood on her keyboard seat to belt it out. I’m not sure what song it was, I think Rebel Girl was the overall theme, but it was stunning. She has such a powerful voice and really let loose on that one. Golden Crutch slowed things down a tiny amount then they finished off with the heavy rocking one two punch of Popular Crowd into Everyone Likes To. Wow, that was a wonderfully large amount of Swale.
The evening was not done as some people headed out, and some of the younger people that had been hanging outside, headed in. After a 20 minute changeover And The Kids hit the stage with a beautiful version of The Victory. They are great musicians, it’s fun to be in the audience when they play, and I love the lyric saying ‘maybe we’re not crazy we just have lots of ideas’. Several members of the audience had similar face glitter to the band and on the second song, Cats Were Born, when it hit the Ah-eeeee, Ah-eeeee, ha, ha, ha part, the audience drowned out the band. It felt like a movement was in progress, and that the band really have something going on. They kept us dancing through the 40 minute set with great versions of No Countries, Wiser and a few others. They wrapped the night at 12:30 with Secret Makeup Factory and that was that.
I headed out soon after and took the blissful walk home with a heart full of the joy that was expressed all night long.