Photos By Andy DelGuidice, Words By Melissa Groth
It was all about catchy, lemon-lime-soda-ad, bubbly melodic pop music, except for when it was about drugs and depression. Newcomers The Wind and the Wave and Night Terrors of 1927 opened for The Colourist on their first headlining tour, and what resulted was an emotional roller coaster set to the soundtrack of a west-coast high school house party.
The Wind and the Wave is Patricia Lynn and Dwight Baker, a singer-songwriter duo out of Austin, Texas. When the music started, the bass shook the walls, which was surprising to me because there was no bassist onstage. Nor was there a drummer. Lynn and Baker stood side-by-side with guitars in hand and played along to a recording. Initially, this was a bit off-putting, but it did save a ton of time breaking down between sets. What became immediately apparent, however, is that The Wind (Baker) and The Wave (Lynn) know how to craft a solid pop melody, and Lynn’s voice is so commanding that it didn’t matter they were playing along with a recording. Lynn is a spitfire and her voice is surprisingly powerful for a woman of her stature. Physically she seemed small onstage, but when she sang she filled the room.
The duo seemed to truly enjoy performing, and their passion and excitement were as catchy as their melodies. Despite Baker’s playful assumption that “You guys don’t know who the fuck we are,” the audience enjoyed the set as much as Lynn and Baker enjoyed playing it, or perhaps even a bit more. When Lynn announced to the audience that she was “about to do something really ‘rock-and-roll,’” and blew her nose onstage, one audience member asked for her dirty tissue. An adorable “That’s gross!” was Lynn’s reaction. Lynn’s impressive pipes, solid songwriting, and easy report with the audience ensured we all know who the fuck The Wind and The Wave are now.
Night Terrors of 1927 followed shortly thereafter thanks to the first act’s instrument-light set-up. I’d listened to their EP Guilty Pleas a few times and enjoyed it, but remained skeptical of a live show mostly because of the length of their name. I tend to believe there’s a positive correlation between the length of a band’s name and their level of arrogance. I was almost proven wrong by Night Terrors (I’m abbreviating, because that saves seven syllables). The music is catchy, synth-heavy electro pop, juxtaposed with a droning, melancholic lead vocal. The band, especially the synth player, a Karen-O circa Fever to Tell screamo-cute pixie-ish thing, was excited and obviously enjoying and taking pride in performing. They lost me with the lead singer. His low energy and general “cannot be bothered” demeanor was a distracting drag on the rest of the band who, in my opinion, carried him through the set. He would also occasionally smack some sort of sound-box effect gadget. The effects were interesting, but were mostly vocalizations that could have been physically produced by the people onstage. At one point, a girl standing next to me mentioned to her friend, “The electronic stuff is interesting, but I don’t think it really adds anything to the songs.” I’d agree with her there.
The Colourist’s first full-length album is set to be released on March 25th. Their single “Little Games” was featured on a Nokia commercial, which is probably where you’ve heard it. Self-described “math pop,” The Colourist is definitely high energy, super fun, square root, cosine, length-times-width and all that. This is music that you will bop along to; there’s no use fighting it. The drummer, Maya, sings backup vocals and carries some tunes with lead vocals. Her voice is uniquely raspy and high-pitched, and it slices through music that can tend to be so “mathematical,” I suppose, that it just sounds like noise. One down-tempo song and a few songs with Maya on lead vocals are what ended up differentiating a repertoire of rather similar-sounding music.
I appreciate a good transition between songs, and The Colourist know how to do a good transition. They kept the energy high, the mood light, and we were all gleefully bopping along to the melody no more than a few beats in. They played some tracks off their upcoming album which were all also reliably high-energy, super fun pop. The one down-tempo song began with Adam, the lead vocalist and guitarist, singing to a buzzing crowd. He good-naturedly told us all to “shhhhhh,” and then apologetically stated, “I just shushed you guys. I am so sorry.” We laughed it off and we were all best friends after that.