I had great time seeing music Friday night at the Art Hop. There were a ton of great bands playing, and I knew I could not catch them all, but had a few that I thought I really wanted to see. Most ended up playing in the same place. I knew where most of the bands would play but was not sure when they would go on, despite putting a little effort into researching times. I knew I wanted to catch Sad Turtle and they were playing around 6 at the Green Door showcase, but most of the rest of the times were a mystery.
I got out of work, did a quick stop at home, grabbed a half of a sandwich to eat and took the long fast walk to the south end of Burlington. The show location was listed as 4 Howard St and it only took a bit of walking around, and listening, to find the alley behind the building where the show happened. I walked in and The Ramparts were on and playing a groovy tune. I think I completely missed the first song and walked in on the end of the song that mentions without warning. As I settled in they began Spaceship and I recognized it immediately from last Wednesday. I happily settled into the groove and loved it much more than before. The next song had a nice refrain of always be giving and seemed to be about destiny. Since there were lots of bands playing all the sets were short. They wrapped up their fun dancey grooving rock set by being joined by Sareet Rosenstein for a fun cover of Your Love by The Outfield.
During the set break I chatted with some friends and noted the board that listed the bands who would play and their set times. Almost every band that I wanted to see would be right in that alley, so that made it easy.
The set break was fairly quick and soon Sad Turtle took the stage. I had never seen the band but knew most of the players. They play all instrumentals and have some cool grooves punctuated by some rocking guitar and sharp drumming. Lead by the keyboard player, who’s name eludes me, they have an indie rock jam jazz sort of sound and have a nice flow to the music. Jake Styles bass keeps a nice groove while the keys flow along and Justus Gaston rocks out a bit on guitar and the super fun to watch Jeremy Gartner hits each drum beat with dramatic flair. The songs all have fun titles such as The Words Are Colliding And George Is Getting Upset and Detective Norman, and Bidets And Confused. A couple of the songs had some solid rock and roll moments and I enjoyed the six songs that they played. I will have to check them out again soon.
During the set break I wandered through some of the nearby buildings and saw a ton of fantastic paintings and other forms of art. We have a lot of talent in our town.
Up next, Caroline Marie took the stage and played a solo set of electric guitar, her lovely voice, and looped songs. Her music has an elegant style and a beautiful flow. The songs tend to start a bit simple and get more complex as she adds the earlier parts of the song into the loop. By the end of the first song, True, she had such a full sounding song going she put down the guitar and played a gorgeous sax solo into the mix. It sounded fantastic. The second song was similar without the sax and had a refrain of feel my strength. Since the whole show was running 30 minutes late she was going to stop there but they said she could play another one. She triggered a backing track with her on bass and Jane Boxall Percussion on drums and played guitar and sang over it. Fly is such a cool song and sounded great.
During the set break I saw even more art and was even more impressed by the talent in this town.
The Canteens were up next and played some ethereal soft rock songs about whiskey and other things. With Justine Poole on acoustic guitar & vocals & drums, Kelsey Ackerman on violin & vocals, and Michael Sheerin on cello their sound was almost country or Americana but not quite either. Soft rock does not quite describe it either since the sound is mellow and quiet but the songs have a huge strength to them. I really enjoyed listening to the five songs they played. The third song opened with Ackerman playing something in a box that sounded like chimes before the song went into a heavy rocking section and they added a little bit of Chim Chim Cher-ee towards the end. They finished the set with a song about following the rain which had a driving rock ending. I definitely need to check into them soon.
In the next break I ventured into the bar area and said hi to Matthew Stephen Perry. I got a small easy to drink beverage and headed back to the alley quickly.
With a nice dark alley and eerie lighting The Mountain Says No took the stage with a roar. They opened with a killer version of The Bomb. They shifted into the moody and intense Be Like Ryan then went back to full on rock for Restaurant. They rocked another newer one that I don’t fully know yet, but really like, then kept it hard and heavy with You Say You’re Alive. Ricky The Rider kept the party going then they eased up a bit for Blanket’s Fine. They came back at full force for I Know Right and called it a night. They are such a fantastic band and that was another legendary show.
I knew Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band were on behind the Maltex building so I ducked out of the alley, walked down Howard and across Pine st, which had been turned into a pedestrian zone, and without entering the packed tent, caught a song and a half from the band. I was pretty close to the stage and the sound was surprisingly good considering the speakers were not facing me. The band sounded great as they played a smooth easy song that had the refrain of who’s your fool. The song had a long couple of endings and was expertly played.
I headed back to the alley, thinking I had plenty of time. Apparently the set break was super short and I walked in on the last note of the first Zeus Springsteen song. Rats. I settled in as the rock trio made up of singer drummer David Evan, guitarist Chris Farnsworth and bassist Josh Shedaker rocked as hard as Mountain. All of the songs are well written and have a unique flow and are really good. I’m just getting to know them. I loved the first fours songs I saw and loved the fifth, Lights Of Montreal, even more. They wrapped the set with TV On The Radio’s Wolf Like Me and I was happy.
I knew Heavy Plains were playing at Speaking Volumes at some point but did not know when. After Zeus I raced over, and they were on the stage. I walked up fairly close as the band, who were playing in a garage door, looked out at the audience that was shrouded in the darkness of the night. With a brand new rhythm section they had a bit of a different sound, but still brought some rock and roll firepower. I did not recognize any of the 5 songs that I caught but there was some blistering rock and roll and it was so great to see Luke Awtry play some super lead guitar. Hopefully, they will start playing a bunch of shows soon and I’ll really begin to catch their new vibe.
It wasn’t super late at that point, but I had to be at work super early the next day, so I took the long walk home. Despite all the intense rock and roll that I heard all evening, the super bouncy Spaceship ran through my head as I bounded home. That sound is surprisingly addictive.