Kicking off the night local Brooklyn based band Bears brought the recent 90s emo resurgence into full swing to a surprisingly willing and ready crowd. With Malcolm playing guitar and singing and James killing it on drums, there was headbanging all over the place on the dance floor and the band fed off the energy. Sounding like the stepchildren of Jawbox and the recently reunited American Football, Bears were a dynamic, energetic, and engrossing start to a night.
Next up were Atlanta shoegaze indie experimenters Del Vinicci fronted by the ethereal Grace Bellury whose voice reminds me of Victoria Lagrand (Beach House). However, the vocal dream pop and no wave aesthetic are backed by a studied knowledge of 90s shoegaze like Slowdive and Lush with a level of weird carnival atmosphere added for good measure.
It took a while for the songs to catch fire, but by the time their closing track “Contagion” started, they were on fire, with Bellury lying down on guitarist Ross Politi’s amplifier, and Politi getting on top of the drum set and playing with tambourines. At one point, funky bassist Jonathan Merenivitch’s amplifier shorted out and the band kind of just exploded in shoegazey chaos.
After two really high energy sets, headliners Wedding Dress from Chicago deflated the night. Full of beards and boasting a supergroup of sorts, Wedding Dress is fronted by Erin Elders of Maps and Atlases and includes members of other indie rock acts like Joan of Arc and Suns. They played a smattering of keyboard leaden folk rock with funkier rocking moments. Shedding the math rock elements of Elders’ other band, the set was mellow and melodic, focusing on Elders’ vocals and guitar. This drove the song and the project was driven like a singer songwriter’s side project.
Bands that could be compared to are the indie folk of bands like Bon Iver and Okkervil River, with Elders doing a good Will Shelf croon and sometimes going into a gentle falsetto. Unfortunately, the fact that I can only think of the songs in comparison to other bands, shows a lack of memorable moments in the set. By itself Wedding Dress was pleasant and mellow, but in the grand scheme of the night, their set is overshadowed by the strong sets by Bears and Del Vinicci.
Article by: Steven Klett