Phil Yates and the Affiliates, Invisible Homes, and The Color Exchange at Nectar’s March 10, 2015   Leave a comment

Nectar's photo by Tim Lewis

Nectar’s photo by Tim Lewis

I had a great time seeing music last night. The show said doors at 9 so I assumed it would start around 9:30 or 9:45, and a little after 9 I took the walk down to Nectar’s. The mix of occasional deep lakes of melted snow on the sidewalks, and a melange of ice and snow on the paths around the puddles, made the walk a little bit slower than usual, but I still walked in right at 9:30, and, the band were on. Rats. I missed about three and a half songs, but was nicely settled in when Phil Yates & The Affiliates shook the room with Little French Earthquakes. The last time I saw Phil he played solo on acoustic guitar, so seeing the complexity of the band was intellectually and emotionally satisfying. Phil’s electric guitar and Raph Worrick‘s bass kept the rhythm locked down while Kevin Stevens’s electric guitar leads took the songs to fun places. The tightly constructed pop songs rocked through a ton of changes, and every time one resolved itself, drummer Jake Blodgett was there with a roll or a fill to kick start the next section. Literally, he was always pushing the songs to the next stage. I missed a lot of the new ones, but classics like Might As Well Settle and Burn Burn Burn were great fun. Late in the set, when they realized they had more time than songs on the setlist, they got a request for Pretty Girls and played a great version. They followed with a rocking Ninjas Vs. Zombies (Let’s Keep Our Heads) which has that fun chor~us. They closed the night with a classic cover that I did not know, but really enjoyed.

During the set break I chatted with Charlie Messing and Jeremy Gilchrist, then said hello to Raph, who gave me a Dirtminers CD I did not have. Woo hoo, more music for the radio show. I chatted with Phil a little but as the next band were setting up, and the guitarist/keyboard player hit a few notes, a chill went up my spine. Oh, this next set was going to be good!

Soon after, Invisible Homes were ready and lit into the set with This Machine. It was a solid rocker with a psychedelic, maybe prog edge, and set the tone nicely for the show that followed. Above The Frequency followed with those luscious keyboard riffs and that strong build, and the end section made me hope they were going to drop it into War Pigs (which they didn’t). I’ve loved that song for a while and it was tremendous live. The band was Sean Witters on guitar and keys and four guys in hats with varying degrees of facial hair. Nectar’s website had them listed as Patrick Ormiston (bass/synth), Pat Melvin (guitar/vox), Matt DeLuca (drums), Deva Racusin (Sax/Percussion). The bongos and sax gave different songs the vibe they needed, as did the alternating bass and synth. The drummer held the eclectic music together and the guitar made the songs shine. Whether they played tight pop songs like Little song, groovy rockers like Song For My Double, or drifty musings like Contemplating The Ivory, everything was very well done and wonderfully enjoyable. Somewhere in the middle they played a heavy rocker they said was a cover that I didn’t know it, but thoroughly enjoyed. It was somewhere around there that my body thought it was getting late and wanted to shut down. We negotiated and I won and kept rocking as the band pulled out some great rock and roll. I think they played most of their album, and I will have to revisit it soon to get to know all the songs. By the time they wrapped up the killer set I was pretty ecstatic.

I really wanted to leave, but I wanted to check out the next band even more, so I went into the bargaining phase. I’ll get one more drink and check out. I’ll drink it slowly and when it’s done, then I will let myself go. Thankfully, the band helped by getting on stage reasonably quickly.

The Color Exchange hit the stage and rocked hard from the first note. The songs had a nice pop feel with plenty of space in the songs to let them breathe. They reminded me of Longwave or Stellastarr, at least in basic structure but had a sound of their own. A wave of people came in at the beginning of the set and were moved enough to shout out that the band were great, in between songs, but only stayed for a couple. The band were champs and kept rocking hard for those of us that were left. They played as a four-piece with a singer/bass player, a keyboard player, a drummer, and an electric guitar player who kept blistering riffs and leads surging continuously. I finished my drink and contemplated fading but regathered myself and stayed to the end. I loved the songs and the energy and was heavily rewarded for my effort. What lovely music these guys make. I didn’t know any of the songs, but enjoyed them all, and when they wrapped up, I had to visit the merch table. They wanted $5 for the blocko cube with one song to download now and the album to follow, but I gave them $10. Justin, the singer, gave me the bands first album (when they were called Clockwork Kids) and a download card for a couple of songs. Sometimes sticking it out really pays.
I took the happy walk home with suit coat pockets heavily laden with music and an elated heart. It was hard to make it all the way through, but I’m so glad I did.


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