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all words: Robb Scott
all photos: Nick Balleza

Rock and Roll Hotel recently received an injection of Danish funkadelic pop with the return of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour to DC. The band, which is actually a duo with a 4-piece accompaniment, plays music as fantastical as their name. A sophomore album just recently released, they are certainly on their way—Wednesday night’s performance, however, did not help to garner new fans.

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Opening was Philadelphia quartet Vacationer; just as with AGT their name perfectly sums up their music. Stirring up comparisons to Augustana and Jack’s Mannequin with their lyrics, but differentiating themselves with subtle moments of genre experimentation—notably a mini ska break mid set. As a group this band works really well together and their chemistry is immediately evident. As an opener, these gentlemen showcased what could easily be considered an open house of talent—be sure to check out their track “Gone.”

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Moving on over to the main attraction, the sentiments unfortunately take a turn for the not so impressive. Seeing them two and a half years ago while they toured their first album, I was made a fan of lead singer Mette Lindberg’s kooky style and even kookier vocals. Seeing them after much exposure in advertisements and such, I was left wondering if this was the same band or not.

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The music AGT creates isn’t at a loss for energy or enthusiasm, despite its hazy sobriety-is-for-squares sensibilities. I didn’t expect a venue full of dancing bodies, or pumping fists, but I certainly wasn’t expecting a performance devoid of any real interest in itself. For the night RnR Hotel was more bar with music, than music venue with a bar—with what the band brought, simply turning on their album over the speakers and hosting a happy hour would have sufficed.

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The six-piece group went way back to their debut EP for those day one fans, and hit the marks with their more recent material for those still fresh to their sound. While they sounded great, with an on point set-list, it remains the fact that the overall performance teetered on “band at the back of the bar” status. For a band that usually brings more to the table live, I was disappointed. Desperately wishing Lindberg would have picked up a tambourine, invited someone to come up on stage to jam out, a cover… something that would leave an impression.

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Let me not discourage you from checking out this awesome band if you are not already familiar—The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s second album Out of Frequency is available on both iTunes and Spotify, as well as their first album Fruit. For those, like me, who consider them to be a gem amongst our iTunes library, a bit of bonus content: our interview with frontwoman Mette Lindberg.

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Set List

  • Heart Attack
  • Major
  • The Sun Ain’t Shining No More
  • The Golden Age
  • Sunshine Coolin’
  • Satellite
  • Use Somebody
  • Around the Bend
  • Suburban Space Invaders
  • Push the Envelope
  • Encore
  • Hero
  • Golden Age
  • Fantasy Friend Forever
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