Sunday, May 28, 2017

Concert Review: Vaudevileins

Picture this, it's Memorial Day Weekend and my family is out of town. My wife has taken our daughter to her twenty year college reunion on the East Coast. After that, they're headed to see another old friend from college.

My holiday weekend was going to consist of beers, records, and Lunar Silver Star Complete on the original Playstation. As of Saturday at about 7:00pm, this weekend had been a great success. I'd even completed the major task I was assigned: The DMV on her new car.

So, Saturday, I watched the mighty Arsenal win their record thirteenth FA Cup and had been having beers and records since then.

During a break in the action, I popped onto Facebook and came across the fact that Vaudevileins were playing at El Lenador on Cherokee.

A couple quick messages ran back and forth, and there I was at the club/venue/restaurant sitting at the bar enjoying a steak sandwich. That was nice because my plans of grilling that 20oz New York Strip were curtailed after the rain.

It was a four band set, but we're only really going to talk about two of them here: Seashine and Vaudevileins.

The dankness of a rainy Memorial Day weekend was in full effect in the venue side of El Lenador, which now features a stage and a PA system, but no stage monitors.

Many times have we all heard artists complaining about the sound monitors so the fact that I saw a great rock show without them was a bit amazing.

Seashine started off the show. They're a young, noise rock band from good old St. Louis. After the show, they told me they've got an album coming out this August. Hopefully, there'll be a copy of it for me to review.

The main vocalist had a, not quite muted, but a soft vocal style. She played guitar along with another guitarist. Their brand of noise rock was heavily effected and gave them a very swirly sound.

They've only been together for about a year so their rawness can be forgiven. The songs were very strong and enjoyable. There's some room for improvement on their performance, but they were very quite fun.

They'd most likely sound better in a venue with a better PA system as well.

Now let's talk about the main draw for me: Vaudevileins.

They were down from their native Chicago. Apparently, they've played here a number of times, but this was my first chance to check them out.

Their latest album, Magician, is a testament to complex modern hard rock. They remind me a bit of the old St. Louis Act, Stir, but minus all of the Pink Floyd influences. They both have the ability to stop and start on a dime giving their songs an excellent dynamic.

They were able to pull these starts and stops off live without a single issue. Like troopers, they never once complained about the lack of those monitors. For the first couple of songs, there were, in my humble opinion, some vocal issues, but after they went into some tunes off the album, nature took over and the vocals came out smashing.

The biggest difference between hearing their record and seeing them live was how significant a role the bass guitar played. It was big, fat, and held the bottom down.

As with any show, there was a technical difficulty or two, but it's how the band handles it that makes all the difference in the world.

They just kept going, never stopping, because the song is king.

All in all, El Lenador isn't the best place to see a show or get a beer, but you'd never guess that based on what went down my gullet and on stage. Cherokee has a nice little up and coming venue. With a few more technical upgrades, it could be very special. The Americana paintings, the Mexican name, and the German decor make it an interesting little spot on Cherokee.

But no one was phased by the lack of equipment and everybody rocked out hard.

No comments:

Post a Comment