THE COMMON MEN
The band played through a well-planned set with their usual intensity, plus a somewhat aggressive edge that sharpened each song even further.
Those of you who read my blog will know I'm a "frequent flyer" at Common Men shows, so I'll spare you all of the gushing I normally do. Instead, I'll just insist again that you really must see this band live the next chance you have... which I've heard may be coming up this month, so keep your eye on their Facebook page for more info.
Vocalist/guitarist Dave Han has a distinctive style of playing that perfectly complements his ethereal voice; combined, the two merge to create a layer of dreamy, textured sound that is almost like a third instrument.
Solid bass from Ty Gerhardt and perfectly timed percussion by Sonia (sadly, I didn't catch her last name, and Astral's Facebook page is sorely out of date - hey, Dave!) provide a driving counterpoint to the vocals and guitars, giving Astral a unique sound that is always a pleasure to hear live. I'd tell you to keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming shows, but as I mentioned, it's a bit neglected, so I'll try to make an update here if there's an Astral show coming up.
RETURN TO MONO
Singer Tanya Kelleher's voice is as gorgeously soulful live as it is on the band's albums, and guitarist J.G. Paulos and keyboard/percussionist Andy Sybilrud flawlessly pull off the complex Return to Mono sound.
If you're looking for a good band to go out and dance your ass off to, look no further - these guys will have you moving in no time, regardless of your dancing ability - and anyone who has seen me at a Return to Mono show can attest to that - it is just too awesome for me to give a shit about how badly I dance.
So, you know what you need to do now... like Return to Mono on Facebook, and watch for their next show, which I hope will be soon... I feel like dancing. :)