Saturday, February 27, 2010
Better Than: No "Florida? Yeah!"
After hibernating for three months, the beast that is "Florida? Yeah!" awoke with a roar in the cavernous Poorhouse on Saturday night. The return of the monthly showcase, put on by the Independent Working Artist Network (IWAN), featured a talented and delightfully eclectic line-up which had the packed venue in great spirits.
A duo called the Waves eased us into the night with a blissful set of instrumental folk-based tunes played on guitar and violin. Robin Roslund and Jim Virga have been playing together, on and off, for more than a decade, and it showed. The interplay between the two was playful and intricate in a way that only a deep familiarity allows.
Following the Waves was another duo, the Miami-based Radar vs. Wolf. These guys do their work with clean-sounding guitars, a snare drum, and tambourines taped to their feet. Their catchy tunes are of the indie pop variety, and are delivered sweetly via two-part harmony. At one fun point during the set, they had the crowd bust the keys out of their pockets to accompany the jingling tambourines.
The centerpiece of the evening was an unannounced set by the veteran rock project Dooms De Pop. This show served as the debut of the group's new line-up, which features Mike Johnson (formerly of Catalonia and Blowfly) on bass and Daryl Bonebrake (formerly of Vacant Andys, Band no. 12, and Anchorman) on drums. They accompany Garo Gallo, who plays guitar and sings. The trio has been hard at work in the practice room since coming together two months ago, and their excitement for finally getting onstage was apparent from the first notes.
After some introductory ambience, the band broke into the ripping "When I'm Bonafide." This tune, as well as the others they played, is full of tricky changes and poppy hooks. Despite the challenging material and the infancy of the band's lineup, the trio seemed quite comfortable and were a blast to watch. The set was short but strong, and did the trick of whetting the palate of the fans in attendance for an upcoming album release and more shows this spring.
Closing out the night were two indie pop bands, Retrocities and Alexander, as well as the prog-metal duo Manifest Test Subjects. The former two both cranked out high-energy sets that had the well-lubricated crowd dancing. By the time the latter came on, the danced-out people could only stare in awe -- which is the proper way to soak up an MTS show.
The band is comprised of two twin brothers, Mike and Pete Campbell, who play guitar and drums, respectively, along to a pre-programmed soundtrack that is played from MacBook. Their set is impossibly technical and the programmed element allows no room for mistakes. Despite this, they are two of the most relaxed and joyful musicians you will see. By the time they had ripped through the last of their nonstop set, there was nothing left to do but gather our brains from the filthy floor and head home.
Personal Bias: I'm a sucker for free shows with lots of great bands.
Random Detail: The MC for the evening was a bizarre, cabaret-style character named Manic Rants. His freestyle poetry freaked out the squares and made its way into my early morning dreams.
By the Way: Florida? Yeah! returns to the Poorhouse on Saturday, March 27th and the last Saturday of every month thereafter.