I had a great time seeing music a week ago Friday at Nectar’s. The ankle was still kind of sore, but the show was irresistible. Swale and Rough Francis were amazing enough, but I had really wanted to check out Heavy Plains too, and they were the opener. I made a deal with myself that I would find a stool and sit for the show, and off I went. I got in and settled and found a seat along the wall. Heavy Plains took the stage as a four-piece, two singer-guitar players, bass and drums. Their sound was huge and the bass reverberated through the floor and up the legs of the stool. It was a pretty intense sensation, but after a minute or so, I just had to stand up and head to the middle of the floor. The opening song had some killer guitar interplay, and the whole set was filled with solid rock riffs and dizzying leads. They played most, if not all of their new album. I did not recognize most of the songs, but just went with it and was in a happy place for the whole show. They pulled out a fantastic version of Womb With A View late in the set, and I still had it stuck in my head days later. I had really high hopes for the band when I walked in, but was completely blown away. I can’t wait to see them again.
The last time I saw Swale was at Summervale, which is a family oriented weekly festival in Burlington’s Intervale. Bands usually play a bit more quiet and mellow, and don’t rock out with full force. I was hoping for the opposite that night, and was elated to hear them rock hard. They did the classic tuning/sound checkinging sound mélange that steadily turns into Waterlanding and off we went. They rocked hard with Jack Sharp and Joyless and Eric Olsenhad a killer over the top solo in Good Medicine. In the middle of the set they had a bit of fun and invited Julian Hackney to the stage for, I think, Todd Rundgren’s Hello It’s Me. After that, they turned back to the heavy rock and blew away the full room.
It was getting late, and I was getting tired, but I was still ready for ROUGH FRANCIS. They hit the stage with a couple of new ones, they followed with three heavy hitters from the first album. Songs like I-90 East and Black And Red were just tremendous. The full room loved it and the front of the stage was filled with people mosing hard for the whole show. They played a long set that covered most of the first album and most of what I assume will be the second album. They tossed in a couple of covers, though the only one I recognized was New Rose. They ended with something that may have been called Sick Of it, and it was just great. I was exhausted and took off at that point, since it was about 1:30am. They may have come back to do Comm to Space for an encore, certainly the crowd was still huge and enthusiastic, but I just did not have enough left to find out. What a tremendous night of rock and roll. Thanks everyone!