Slingshot Dakota, Spirit Animal, Yo Adrian! At Muddy Waters Friday October 23, 2009

Words by Tim Lewis.

Yea, Slingshot was back in town. They hooked me the first time I saw them at the Monkey House, and every time they have come back, it’s been a great time. I was uncertain how they would go over at a coffee house and was quite willing to find out.

I had to work until 8 but with the first opening band on at 9 I was all set. It rained that evening but I brought my trusty umbrella and was comfortable for the walk.

I arrived about 9 and the place was full. As you walk in most of the coffee shop is in front of you and to the left there is a small open “room” encircled in a wooden frame. In there, against the window, is where the band sets up, and the rest of the space was jammed with fans. I was wrapping the umbrella and removing the coat when Carly Commando came over and gave me a hug while saying how happy she was to see me. She went back to the pit, I went to get a beer and find a place to stash my coat, and the first band started to play.

Yo Adrian! took the stage with savage fury and laid down some tasty metal. The last time I saw them I appreciated them but didn’t think they were quite together enough. Apparently several moths of playing helped. That Friday they sounded very good and played some pretty ambitious music. They played a blend of punk and metal and the lead vocals were a roar of power. Some of the songs were simple and fast but several took long arcs and made me think of Iron Maiden. I stood just outside the room and happily bopped back and forth as they unfurled their set. Inside the room, it was packed and just short of a mosh pit.

They played a bunch of cool songs then struck my memory when they played group hug. It’s a punk song that is really fast and at the end the singer yells group hug. Many people in the audience come together, as indicated by the title, and the enclosed group moshes. Muddy’s was way to small to really pull it off to full effect but they did it nonetheless. I think that song really speaks to who Yo Adrian! are. If you’re looking for a fun aggressive band to really rock out to you owe it to yourself to check these guys out.

After they finished up I chatted with Tom Patterson for a bit. Not only are he and Carly great musicians they are also fantastic people. I hope you get a chance to meet and talk with them someday, you’ll be happier for it.

I went back to the bar for another beer and then back to the edge of the room as Spirit Animal took the stage. They are a spin off from In Memory of Pluto and they laid down some heavy indie rock. They rocked hard and played pleasantly loud and a couple of the songs seemed to have a little something to them. Their set was short and pretty good, but I wasn’t amazed. I think they are a band to keep an eye on. They showed a lot of potential but haven’t yet realized it.

When they finished up and loaded out I slipped into the room, though towards the back. It was pretty crowded, and I was a little uncomfortable doing the sardine impression, but as it became show time I found enough space to bop back and forth.

Slingshot Dakota came on slow. Carly played a couple of gentle piano pieces while waiting for Tom. He took the drum kit and they opened with Wave. The slow opening strains were augmented by the audience singing along until it kicked and the power and volume filled the room. Hmmmmm, that’s the stuff!

From there it was just another beautiful set. They played a trio of songs with Until the Day I Die in the middle, and dedicated them to anyone who is going through a time of anguish. They played the Incubus cover Waiting Room by audience request. They played a new song they had just written. They did the usual Michael Jordan Saved My Life dedicating it to all people who have been victims of sexual abuse, and encouraged anyone in the audience who has experienced it to talk to people and deal with it, and not to keep it quiet and let it fester.

They played a killer I-78 and wrapped up the night with Until the Day I Die part 2. I was encased with bliss from beginning to end. Despite the fact that the coffee house was a bit too small to contain their crowd, it seemed that everyone had a great time.

When done I found my coat and umbrella and hung out a bit. I chatted with Carly about how important music can be, whether in time of crisis or time of joy. I got another hug and headed for home.

It warms my heart to no end knowing that really nice caring people are out there making great music and touring like crazy to bring it to we the masses. They make a difference in ways they may never know.

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog,