[Originally for DC Music Download on 14 November 2012]
Reviewed By: Eric Zurita
Photos By: John-Paul Zajackowski
Shark Week opened last Friday night’s show at Red Palace with some fast-paced art rock fronted by Ryan Hunter Mitchell, their fiery redheaded lead singer. Mitchell led the charge with energetic riffs and was complemented by the loose groove of bassist Danielle Vu. Although the band’s name yields expectations of a head-banging, unbashful style, they proved to posses a blues aesthetic in their songs which diversified their set and appeared to be relatively distant from their bold moniker. Considering they were the first band on deck and the crowd was still in the midst of filing the room, they kept the energy going as much as they could.
After listening to the vehement tunes of Shark Week, the tone took a sharp turn as Boston based band Quilt took the stage. The trio wrapped the crowd in a blanket of lethargic melodies and uniquely crafted harmonies. Anna Rochinski and Shane Butler’s thin voices added a dramatic touch to their performance that varied when Rochinski let her guitar go to jam on her effect-filled electric organ. Although the instruments and voices were coherent, at times the reverb overpowered the music and the lyrics became difficult to decipher. However, there was a certain freedom in their musicianship that allowed them to venture into unmarked territory within the indie music genre.
Finally, San Francisco’s The Fresh & Onlys capped off the show with what was the most consistent set of the night. Their songs never lacked spontaneity, but you could count on them to be unique, melodic, and powerful in the sense that they could transfer the listener to another utopia. Perhaps due to their long-standing relationship as bandmates, or their level of musical maturity, this exceptional group displayed a superior interrelation among the instruments. Uniting the keyboard’s atmospheric tone with Wymond Miles’ richly textured phrases on guitar along with Shayde Sartin’s persistently driving bass grooves, they provided a moody arrangement that complimented frontman Tim Cohen’s relaxed, yet compelling vocals.
Check out our photos from the show:
The Fresh and Onlys