I had a wonderful terrible time seeing music last night at Light Club Lamp Shop and Radio Bean. Swale were set to play 9-11 and the Nancy Druids were set to play from 10-11 so I knew I was doomed from the start. I love both bands so much. I knew a choice would have to be made. I knew I could not make a right choice and I knew I could not make a wrong choice. Oh, and there was lots of other music I’d love to have seen that night too. Sigh.
I got out of work at 7 and stopped home for dinner. I headed out around 8:30 and settled into Light Club Lamp Shop just before 9. I chatted with Lauren and Molly King about music for a bit then just before 9:30 SWALE hit the stage. The opened with a strong version of Soul Piggy Bank which filled my heart with joy. They took a moment to get settled then played the bouncy new song that I’ve been referring to as Loser. It has a delightful mix of sadness and cheeriness. They reached back to the beginning for a rocking version of Cancer then brought the full rock fury with Edible. They kept the intensity at full blast for Drug Laws, which is a new song that just keeps driving and driving. They kept the place rocking with Popular Crowd and rocked hard with Joyless. They eased up a bit with Beaten Down. The clock said 10pm but John Franklin, the bass player for the Druids chatted with me for a bit so I thought I could stay for a couple more and not miss the Druids. Swale kept things mellow for Old School, the brought the energy back up with a new song called Release Your Records. It’s a very cool song and features some excellent vocals from Eric Olsen. I was pushing the time limit so I headed out the door as the band launched into Jack Sharp. I’d love to have stayed, but will catch up with them again someday soon.
I walked down two doors and entered Radio Bean. The Nancy Druids were on stage and ready to go. They launched into their set and filed my heart with their soaring melodies. John’s bass and Ann Mindell‘s pounding drums create a strong backbone as Sean Toohey lets the songs take beautiful twists and elegant turns. His vocals are cool and endearing and his guitar playing is over the moon. He puts a ton of effort into making his playing seem so effortless. All the songs have lovely melodies and when he launches into a solo he can electrify a room. Songs like Sky and Sign are really catchy and easy to sing. Ordinary Breakdown Day has a nice stomp to it. December is a beautiful fuzz pop indie rock song. Halo features some bombastic Mindell drumming. Space Between A Secret And A Lie works on an intellectual and emotional level. Falling is a great song that rocks hard. All of these song titles are approximate and all of the songs are really good and despite having to walk out on Swale (really, I actually did that?) I enjoyed every note from the Druids. They were going to wrap it up but the small yet excitable audience wanted more. They played the cover of I Am The Walrus and towards the end Sean grabbed a beer can to play some slide and ended the song by running the guitar over the mic stand in a perfectly controlled cacophonous ending. It was a stunning show, much like all of the Druids shows that I’ve seen.
I hung out and chatted for a bit after the show then took the short happy walk home. It was so hard to leave a band that I love but think I might possibly have made the right decision. Then again, with bands like Swale and the Nancy Druids, it’s impossible to go wrong.