Friday, November 20, 2009 at 10:45 a.m.
All Photos by Warren Wills
It's not every day you can get away with seeing some of the Twin Cities best bands without having to drop a red cent. It just doesn't happen that often. Those lucky enough to be in attendance at the Nomad last night enjoyed nearly four hours of non-stop rock, covering multiple generations worth of styles, beats and even a bit of stage acrobatics. It was Dante and the Lobster's CD release show, but it also featured two other "Picked to Click" artists (Teenage Moods and Leisure Birds) and it turned out to be a freeloader's rock and roll fantasy come true.
Starting out the evening, Teenage Moods brought a sound much like their name implies: grinding, angst-filled garage rock. Arriving at number ten on this years PTC charting, the band brought a stinging yet stripped down sound with aggressive guitar hooks and an unrelenting rhythm duo on bass and drums. Overall it was an extremely satisfying set from the newly minted trio.
Following Teenage Moods was the act who listed fifth on the PTC chart, Leisure Birds. Probably the toughest band to pin down with any sort of classification, this formidable four-some brought a unique collage of bluesy psychedelic rock, driven with stomping beats best suited for mosh-pit at a barn dance... if there were such a thing. Shifting from languid Doors-esque tunes to roots style blues-rock, Leisure Birds brought one of the freshest sound of the evening.
The headliner of the evening, Dante and the Lobster, were certainly the most subdued artists of the evening and in doing so, also came across as the most prepared. Here there were no leaps onto speakers, unusual instruments, overamplified distortion, or as most of the bands had, distinct fits of screaming. No, Dante and the Lobsters came to simply show their merits as musicians and give the crowd a taste of it's sublime British Underground, 60's acid rock. It was easy to see why this band has also gained a following of late and charted sixth on this year's PTC listing.
All told there were plenty of voices blown out. Not just musicians mind you, but also those contending with the heightened state of rock audio that permeated the Nomad for hours on end Thursday night. We were drenched in it and while our voices may be cracked and our ears still ring, the phenomenal music that was played was indeed priceless. One might even say free.