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ANDY DUNLAP | chriskattan42@yahoo.com |
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

beach fossils -- bigalittlea

So after a couple of days of being sleep deprived, traveling around the north east and going to too many shows I finally have some down time and a steady enough mindset to write reviews for both the Beach Fossils show in Harrisonburg as well as the Aa show that happened up in DC (Dylan is going to take care of the Washed Out show that happened at the Tea Bazaar FYI)

Beach Fossils / The Beets / Eternal Summers @ The Blue Nile (03-11-10) (03-13-10)

I had been pretty stocked on Beach Fossils ever since stumbling upon them on some various music blog back in January. I tried to see them a couple times this year but these attempts both ended up being fruitless (canceled show in Richmond and a missed show in Harrisonburg due to exams). Luckily I was finally able to catch there show at The Blue Nile In Harrisonburg during my spring break. While the show wasn’t the best thing I have ever seen, it was still a very solid night of good rock music.

When I walked into The Blue Nile around 9:40 I realized right away that my friend parker and I were the only people at the venue who weren’t in a band playing that night. This theme of small attendance didn’t particularly change much during the remainder of the night. (From what I’ve heard The Blue Nile seems to have small attendance at a lot of shows, which is a shame since they have booked some very solid bands recently).

The Beets were first on the bill that night. They had a very solid broken down yet fully formed lo-fi rock sound to them. There first few songs were very hard hitting percussion being added upon high-pitched vocals and some shaggs esc guitar work that all together was just mesmerizing. However after a couple songs the lead singer switched from acoustic guitar to electric guitar in which a 4 minutes break and chit chat break insued basically killing the great energy and momentum the first few songs had. However after the break they started just as tight as they had started. Overall a really fun band who has just recently released a really sick record worth checking out (Spit On The Face Of People Who Don’t Want To Be Cool).

Eternal Summers were up next after that. They are a fairly solid male-female rock duo from Roanoke, VA who as I have mentioned on the blog before recently put out a killer split 7 inch with Reading Rainbow (PICK THAT SHIT UP). There set just like The Beets set seemed to have a feeling of not trying super hard to perform due to probably 15 people being at the venue. This however doesn’t mean there set didn’t have its moments of excellence. Basically when the drummers was drumming fast and hard, while the guitars started to get into a good old fashion garage rock groove you could see the magic of this bands music come to life. Definitely a band worth looking into, really good energetic rock, just sadly it seemed like an off night for them.

Beach Fossils were the last band of the night and right away you realized this set was going to be of an interesting character. What I mean by this is the drummer of the group was on vacation in Europe, so for the show Beach Fossils had recruited both the drummers of The Beets & Eternal Summers to drum for there set. This ended up being both a mix of good and bad. What was great about this was that the procession for was very hard hitting, and lets face it bands with 2 drummers are just lots of fun. However the guys playing drums didn’t really know the songs since there not in the band so at times there drumming seemed off tempo with the music being played. Even though the set wasn’t mind-blowing and seemed more like some friends just jamming around it was still a really fun reverb rock set so there is really no reason to complain really.

The show was overall fairly good, kind of a downer more people weren’t brave enough to face the rain and make it out to the show, but for the people who did make it out saw 3 really fun rocks groups who have potential to make a lot of buzz.

Aa / The Screens / Big Gold Belt @ Comet Ping Pong Pizza (03-13-10)

Earlier this week I was stumbling around the Internet reading tour info on bands (something I do far to often) and stumbled on Aa going on a spring tour. Much to my surprise a show was going to be happening up in DC when I already had plans to go up north and visit family. A road trip was schemed between me – the other dunlap – and Dylan to check this shit out.

Right off the bat when we got to the show we realized this night was going to be something special. The show was at this place called Comet Ping Pong, which is a pizza parlor-ping pong playing-music venue. It was an odd combination that was bluntly endearing.

The first act of the night was the group Big Gold Belt. Ill be honest I didn’t really pay to much attention to this set due to trying to figure out the metro stations times home (silly day light savings time making things complicated). It seemed to be a solid mix of bass guitar being added with vocal improvs being fucked up almost like a cartoon. Overall the music had potential but didn’t seem to go anywhere, it looked however like the band was having sort of an off night.

Aa was next up to bat, and straight up there set was just fucking mind blowing. Heavy hitting procession being mixed in with various yelps and holler like convulsions added with various faded chimes and other ambient mixtures. However even with a set that was so good and one of the best things I’ve seen in a while I still have complaints -really I mean frustrations of people at concerts





Seriously though Aa was one of the best sets I have seen in months. Straight up they are just awesome. I now understand all the talk these guys got after there show at the bridge in cville a couple years back.

After that was the group The Screens whom I believe have some ex members of The Apes in the group. Didn’t realize this in till the band almost started there set but the day before the show the band got into a car wreck and there car as well as a lot of there equipment got fucked up pretty badly. Luckily no one got hurt and they where able to continue their tour. There set was fun sloopy lo-fi rock being added up lots of reverb vocals. This was kind of the perfect way to end a very fun and very exhausting weekend, with lots of fun to buzzed out rock music. Definitely going to look more into these guys music right after I post this review.

- (((andy)))

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