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@Don’t Stop St. Pete, 10 p.m., The Disasternauts, The Bends (Arielle) When we stroll up to the Bends, we find one of the Disasternauts members sporting his ape-garb while seated at a table out front. There’s still time before the set starts, so drinks are in order; two frozen strawberry daiquiris served up by Bends’ bar maven Victoria Rozzi arrive topped with bright red cherries. We grab a spot next to the pinball machine as the Disasternauts take the stage in Planet of the Apes masks and orange "space suits." Everyone is buzzed and the narrow bar belly booms with the sound of electric guitars firing off surf riff after surf riff. Reminds me of a more Florida-centric Red Elvises. It’s loud and groovy, but a little too aggressive for my daiquiri. We escape the ever growing crowd, guzzle our grown-up Slurpees and wander back to the 600 block.
@Plan B, 10:05 p.m., The Wholetones, Dirty Shame (Julie) The Naples-based bluegrass-tinged ensemble offers a pleasant, twangy contrast to the hipster rock elsewhere. The gig at Dirty Shame is a special one as it featured new mandolin player Brett Kirchdorfer in his first gig with the band — a most welcome addition.
@Plan B, 10:20 p.m., Auto? Automatic??, The Social Club (Julie) My energy is starting to wane a little, so the sinewy rhythms and meditative guitars of instrumental post-rock band A?A?? proved to be both soothing and invigorating. Some friends we passed on the way to The Social warned us the band was too boring, but we dug the understated vibe. If you take into consideration that founder/guitarist Brian Larsen switched punctuation in the band’s name from !-!! to ?-?? a few years ago, you start to get his questioning, curious and enterprising approach. For music lovers, that spirit of exploration is never boring — especially when pulled off with Larsen’s mastery.
@Plan B, 10:41 p.m., The Dewars (1930 Grande Room) The Dewars are St. Augustine-based twin brothers who purvey an appealing blend of folk music and ’60s psych pop with a Brit Invasion vibe, and they sing in sweetly melodic yet slightly droning harmonies; reminiscent of The Kinks, with vocals kind of like the Byrds. They are charmingly awkward, which they seem to work into their droll songwriting, stage banter, and overall performance style. One brother plays acoustic bass and bass-drum, the other a hollow-body guitar and smaller kick-drum, both keeping the rhythm throughout their quirky tunes. Their performance is given an even more surreal quality because of the temporary multi-colored lights rig set up in the back of the room that flickers on the bare white walls and against the brothers, and makes weird trippy-colored shadows behind their heads.
@Don’t Stop St. Pete, 10:45 p.m., Black Taxi, 600 Block Main Stage (Arielle) Black Taxi is one of those bands that come to Tampa on a fairly regular basis. Which is why I didn’t slate them high on my festival to-do list, but I should have. Especially considering I’ve never actually seen them. The Brooklyn indie rock band took over the Main stage on the 600 Block around 9:45 p.m. We arrived just in time for the end of a set that was definitely a highlight of the night. Their new album Chiaroscuro is packed with synthy-dance-driven Tears for Fears/Depeche Mode grooves with a dash of Killers-like vocals and stage presence. Most of these songs could be on the soundtrack for the stylized Gosling action flick like Drive (perhaps a sequel?). Especially when “Can’t Stop Shaking” begins; it’s distractingly good.
@Plan B, 11 p.m., Dear + Glorious Physician, New World Brewery (Julie) Back together for the first time in five years, the Gainesville sibling act is indeed a blast from the past. Dressed once again in their signature all-white, the (still) young-and-sexy Von Trapp-looking wunderkinds delivered A Sound of Music far and away from the alpine purity of Rogers and Hammerstein. D&GP invoke the moody undertones of Joy Division while heaping assertive co-ed vocals, shimmering guitar/keyboards and angular rhythms — imported from a long-lost land where post-hardcore and prog rock spawned pretty blond babies who grow up to rock socks off and snub homogeneity. New World is packed for the rare appearance; definitely one of the high points of the fest.
@Don’t Stop St. Pete, 11 p.m., Murder by Death, State Theatre (Arielle) Murder by Death is arguably the band most folks in attendance seemed to be most stoked about. I knew very little about them coming into this show. What struck me first was Adam Turla’s vocals, deep and rich, just my cup of tea. Like a Southern Gypsy version of Gogol Bordello, Murder by Death is rootsy, American, folksy, with punk undertones and a healthy shot of whiskey. Cellist Sarah Balliet’s strums and plucks paired with Okkervil River former horn player and keyboardist Scott Brackett’s wide range of instrumentation (from Theremin to accordion) contributed really nice complexity to the sonic textures. It one of those rare shows where everyone was feeling the good vibes; the crowd’s attention was irresistibly glued to the band, and the musicians fed off their adulation and gave it back in spades via an earnest, lush and energetic performance.
Where were you sitting? Your review is a bit negative sounding to say the least…
Love that album. It still sounds great and according to this outstanding review, Huey also…
Excellent review, sorry I missed the concert.
I was fortunate to see Bonnie Raitt. Her stage presence was heart warming and her…