Doom Service At 242 Main And Paper Castles & Alpenglow At Signal Kitchen July 19, 2014

Words by Tim Lewis.

I had a good time seeing music last night. I got out at 6:30 and was psyched to see Alpenglow at 8:30. I had noticed that Justin Gonyea‘s new band, Doom Service was making its debut at 242 Main, I thought at 7. I walked into my house at 6:47 and was on my way walking downtown at 6:55. I thought I might miss a couple of songs, but was wrong about the start time, which seemed to be the theme of the evening. I hung out for a bit, and after a while, they started to play. They began with a building instrumental, and moved into a groove somewhere between indie rock and punk. The sound and structure of many of the songs sounded like they would be at home on the soundtrack to Mallrats. The four-piece band had two guitars, drums and a low slung bass. Everyone but the drummer sang, but the volume was cranked and the instruments overwhelmed the vocals for the whole show. I caught a lot of it, but couldn’t hear much of it clearly. The energy was good but the playing was pretty loose at the start. I was a little worried but listened and tried to find the groove. They chatted with the audience for a bit, after the first couple of songs, then lit into another that sounded like they tightened up. They played a couple more and announced they had two left. They really locked in for both, and if I had not been worried about time, I would have been saddened that they did not play more. On the last note I was out the door. A quick time check said 8:15, so I headed to Signal Kitchen. They were not open yet, so I found a quick drink and entered at 8:30. In retrospect, I easily could have gone back to Twofourtwo Main, and caught another band, but erred on the side of caution, not knowing when the band opening for Alpenglow would go on. Inside, the room slowly filled, and the 30 neatly arranged chairs were moved to the audience’s whim. I chatted with a co-worker and her friend for a bit, and soon enough Paper Castles took the stage. They played as a trio with Padraic Reagan, on bass, so Wren had to play a lot of rhythm guitar, instead of the lead and effects that he usually does. The music was slow and gentle and moved along in its own way, occasionally slipping into an easily hummable section that you will have in your head for the next few weeks. A couple of songs had a nice build, and early in the set Wren played some killer slide with a wrench. The show was not long, maybe 30 minutes or so, and at the end they let Wren loose and played some fun rock and roll. After a short set break, they started the movie projector and then started to play. The show was billed as GLACIER: A Collaboration between Alpenglow and VT filmmaker John Douglas. A movie screen filled part of the top center stage. The film from the ;70;s, was shot on 16mm and was a ton of time jumping cuts showing a journey through the west and across a glacier. The images were entirely human and stunningly breathtaking. The band played with a quiet powerful grace. The soaring vocals took the lead and a variety of instruments filled he room. They played rock that ranged from gentle and quiet, to flexing some muscle. Instead of having the violin and banjo lead the songs they wandered into, they slipped their slowly articulated notes into the flow of the songs. I didn’t recognize anything, and just listened, with feet and ears. The audience was quiet for the first couple of songs, then started to chat a bit. In the third song,, the intense images of daredevils traversing the ice, enchanted the audience, and it was quiet for the rest of the show. Some people sat in the front and many stood in the back. The audience thinned a little when the film finished, but most stayed as the band kept enchanting with each following song. Late in the set, the opening strains of Solitude brought an audible jolt from the audience. They played a killer version of it, and called it a night. A heavily demanded audience request brought them out for a glorious version of Catskills After the last magnificently gentle note rang out, I took the long walk home.

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