Arc Iris At Summervale And Light Club Lamp Shop July 16, 2015

Words by Tim Lewis.

I had a great time seeing music last Thursday, twice even. I caught the last Arc Iris show of their month long run in May at The Skinny Pancake, and was pretty blown away. When the schedule for Summervale (a festival that runs every Thursday for most of the summer in the Intervale in Burlington) came out, I was elated that Arc were set to play. When Swale played a couple of weeks before, they went right on at 6, so I got motivated a little early and arrived just before 6. The band were doing a sound check, which was nice to hear, then took the stage for real around 6:25. The music was gorgeous, subtle and powerful, but most of the crowd was made of families chatting and kids dancing and they only paid a casual attention to the music. The band were undaunted and put on a great show anyway, and seemed to enjoy all the little kids running around in front of the stage. Their sound ranges from dance pop to progressive rock. The use of a bowed cello instead of a bass gives the songs a more ancient feel that is nicely balanced with the modern sound of the synths. The drumming is primal yet delicate and effortlessly moved the songs in any direction they needed to go. Jocie sang like an angel, sometimes played guitar and sometimes scrunched in to play keys with Zach. It’s fun to watch them play in and around each other without missing a note. They day was warm and sunny and the music just made the setting that much more lovely. I hung out happily until about 7:45 when I had to leave to head downtown to get ready for my radio show that night. I hated to walk away, but thought there would be a chance to catch them again later, since they were set to play at Light Club Lamp shop at 10, or maybe 10:30.

I headed downtown and did my local music radio show on internet only from 9-11, and of course played one of their songs, Lost On Me. I finished my after show work around 11:15 and headed over to the Light Club Lamp Shop. They had not started yet, but the stage was set, covered in vines, and several feet off the floor. I settled in and the room filled with people and the band began to play. While the earlier show had people listening casually, the later show was packed with people listening intently. The small size of the room made the show more intimate and powerful and the band played a killer set. Some of the songs were the same, but an increase in volume and audience age let the band really rock out and it was just fantastic. Jocie danced delicately on the tiny stage, letting loose some cool moves, without a hint of falling. Her guitar had a bit more fire and she did some nice shredding on a couple of songs. Robin’s cello playing had some cool runs that lit up the songs in unusual ways. Rays drumming lightly accented some of the songs, and drove others hard. I think there was a joke about him doing some thrash metal drumming and a couple of the songs got close to that. Zach was amazing on keys, usually playing a different keyboard with each hand, and it only got better when Jocie joined him on and off throughout the show. All the songs were great and the audience hung on every note. The show was a bit shorter, running about an hour and 15 minutes or so, but was even more satisfying than the longer afternoon show.

After they wrapped up, I headed out pretty quickly, and said a quick hello/goodbye. It was such a treat to get to see them and being able to see them twice, in two very different contexts, was just wonderful. I walked home a very happy person.

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