I had a great time seeing music Saturday night at Signal Kitchen. I met up with Christopher Larrow and we headed downtown a little after 8. We got into the underground standing room space, found a spot up front, and soon enough, Tyler Daniel Bean took the stage. I was just him with a microphone and acoustic guitar. Instead of sounding like a traditional singer songwriter, the songs had a nice indie rock feel but with an acoustic presentation. His set was not long but the songs were pretty good and kept me listening. The room slowly filled as he told us he usually plays with a full rock band. That made me a bit wistful, but I just went with it and appreciated it for what it was. I did not catch very much about any of the songs but the closer, Year Of The Snake was especially cool. I liked his set but now want to hear his full band.
Swale quickly took the stage after his set, and the pretty full room looked on as they began to tune up. The tuning coalesced and soon the opening strains of Waterlanding appeared. They let that song unfurl with all of it’s searing intensity. They followed with rocking version of Golden Crutch and kept up the intensity with Joyless. They threw us a curve with a Pants song that I did not know. It was pretty fun and rocking. They eased up with a mellow version of Beaten Down then pulled out the ascending and ultimately surging We Could All Be That Way. I think they had the whole room on board by the time they finished the song and let it gently slip away. They jammed back into high gear for the short and fast Jack Sharp and just let it rip for the closing Drug Laws. What a great show.
To be honest, I knew little about the headliner and really was there for Swale. Chris had taken off but I hung out for the headliner, Torres. While the band is mostly Mackenzie Scott, for the show she sang and played rhythm electric guitar and was joined by an electric lead guitarist, who also played some keys and effects. A keyboard player and drummer rounded out the band. The keyboard player added some bass tones, but most of the drive of the songs was from the drums and the guitar. The sound had elements of indie rock and trance and was pretty upbeat and rocking. I did not know any of the songs but liked them all, especially one in the late middle about a boy who wants to play God. She chatted with the audience a little and expressed an appreciation for being in Vermont for the first time, but for the most part it was just song after song. When they wrapped up the set they took a beeline for the lounge area where they could chat with people and sell music. I was a bit tired so I just headed out and took the cool walk home. I love going out to see music I know nothing about and finding great bands like Torres.