We love our CMJ showcases upstairs at Pianos and this year was a smash hit with Weaves, The Big Moon, Smoke Season, Cultfever, Narc Twain and Outfit.
From start to finish, upstairs at Pianos was packed for each act and while the genres were different – the amazing vibes easily flowed from one act to another. Starting the night was Narc Twain, a relatively new alt-rock band out of NYC. While they may be new, they showed a strong sense of rhythm and showmanship, which should bring them far. Also humorous – front-man Tommy Siegel joked often and declared their new single is huge in Europe.
Weaves, who walked away from CMJ week with a massive buzz surrounding them were in the second slot. This band dominated every second while onstage and showed us why they are so good. With smoky and sometimes jazzy sounding lyrics, backed up by tremendous guitar and percussion, Weaves are hard to categorize and that’s a good thing. Lead singer Jasmyn Burke is a force of nature and seemed comfortable either roaming in the crowd or while perched atop a precarious stool.
In the middle slot was Liverpool, England’s Outfit, who took to the stage with multiple keyboards and a desire to make us dance. And dance we did, nonstop for their whole set. Their style was electro-pop dominated, but had a nice gritty edge to it at times that made them stand out.
The Big Moon, four young woman from London strode onto the dark stage with humongous smiles, that only got bigger as their set progressed. Juliette, Soph, Celia and Fern are as tight as a band gets and they are seemingly best friends to boot. Their energy and enthusiasm was unmatched all night and we fell in love with these rockers.
By the time Smoke Season started their set Pianos was completely packed from front to back. The duo proceeded to show why they are one of L.A.’s fastest rising acts by giving us a solid set of gritty and edgy pop/soul songs. Lead singer Gabrielle Wortman was a snake-charmer who had the audience enthralled with her every move while performing.
Cultfever took the spotlight after eleven and gave us a strong and inspiring set of grungy electro-pop tunes. Edgier and darker than most bands of the same genre, Cultfever is special band with an 80’s type flair to their songs. Well after midnight, their set ended and we couldn’t of asked for a better lineup of bands to end CMJ 2015.
Article: Shayne Hanley