I had a great time seeing music February 1st at The Monkey House…
The show was scheduled to start at 8:30 and I arrived at 8:25. I got in and settled and moved through the crowd to the front as Adrienne Cooper Smith unleashed some beautifully heavy distorted notes from her electric banjo. The attentive crowd formed an arc around the stage and listened close. Her music has a fun mix of sounding like a usual singer songwriter and a punk band at the same time. Her wispy vocals juxtaposed against the intensity of her playing kept me in a state of bliss for the whole show. Towards the end she played a cool song about a place inside you then capped the set with a blistering feedback ending. She’s so great.
The set break wasn’t long and Father Figuer took the stage. Their music often starts slow and moody then builds into a furious shredding roar before easing up and doing it all over again. I’ve really enjoyed many of the performances, but something about the show that night, let me really see and understand the structure of their songs in a way I hadn’t yet. I went happily along with every rise and fall and reveled in the power and beauty of their music. I will definitely be back for more.
Up next, Julia Caesar took the stage and were joined by a woman on violin. She added a nice edge to the sound, but did not change it much, which was cool. They opened with a lovely gentle song I did not know, but really liked. They played a song about the planets called Mars then rocked out Nosedive. They played the one about ashes ashes, all fall down and followed with a nice countryish song. At some point I was wondering why I knew so few songs, and they said that most of the songs that night were new. I felt better. They played a song about time traveling in our dreams the played a great version of Chosen Names. Stephen and Liz Stafford switched instruments for the one about being washed up on your shore again then they returned to the normal configuration for the one about letting it be without a sound. Liz had some nice guitar lines and Megan Wild Rice played some intense lead guitar parts too. They played a searing version of falter and followed with another cool new one. They closed the set with Empires and the crowd was in a happy place. They are a truly amazing band and I’m so lucky to be able to see them so often. It’s great to hear the new songs come out and come alive. I can’t wait to see where they go next.