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all photos: Paul Goodman
all words: Megan Burns

The show started a little behind schedule last night, so I treated myself to couple PBRs in the meantime (I’m poor). I don’t know if it was the beers talking, but the first act, Cotton Candy, was absolutely the highlight of the night for me. The duo from Boston covered a bunch of commercial jingles, including but not limited to the theme songs for the Spirit of Massachusetts and Jared Jewelers. *Side note: Can it really only be Jared? It was a very minimalist set with just a guitar to accompany the vocals; they didn’t bring any instruments down with them, so they had to borrow from the other bands. I think some people were a little thrown off by the performance, but I died laughing the whole time. Altogether they played 21 songs, a lot of them lasting under thirty seconds with just a few lines. I actually bought their little 7 inch vinyl EP, a steal at just $3. My only complaint is their failure to cover the Empire Carpet song. Sing it with me: eighthundredfiveeighteighttwothreehundred EMPIIIIIRE! (today).

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Next up was The Ladybug Transistor, whose keyboardist is Kyle from Crystal Stilts. The performance was good; the music was upbeat, they interacted well with the audience, and frontman Gary Olson held it down with his interchange of instruments, including the trumpet. But the set seemed to go on forever and ever to the point that I almost totally lost all interest. Even the introduction of “special” guest Andy from Crystal Stilts for one of the songs couldn’t revive the unnecessarily long set. If they’d kept it a little shorter and sweeter I think I’d have liked the performance a lot more.

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And finally there were the Crystal Stilts. I really wish I had better things to say about their performance, but I was not impressed. They didn’t play badly; on the contrary, their music was super danceable and everyone in the room seemed to get really into it. Their stage presence, however, seemed to be lacking. There was minimal interaction with the audience, and at times they would all kind of pause for a while (a little too long in my opinion) to talk to each other out of earshot. Those things aside, I think the biggest disappointment was the length of the set. It seemed like they played maybe ten songs before exiting the stage, and there was no encore. During my interview with Andy Adler he mentioned that they had actually been approached by The Ladybug Transistor to do this mini tour, which might explain why they played a shorter set. I want to stress that I didn’t think it was necessarily a bad performance, but definitely nothing to write home about. And probably not something I would pay to go see in the future.

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Not an altogether disappointing show, but I’m going to stick with Cotton Candy as the overall champion of my heart here. What do you guys think, am I being totally unreasonable here? Discuss.

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BYT has covered all of these bands before so:
read the recent Crystal Stilts interview here
the old but pretty fascinating Ladybug Transistor interview here
and our Cotton Candy story here