Words By Michael Young, Photos By Sloane Tucker
With droplets of perspiration on his forehead glowing neon in bluish-pink light, the guitarist of The Sea Life takes a breath after sustaining the last chord of a song. He leans into the microphone and, after thanking the opening bands, cries: “This is the fucking night!”
Den-Mate kicked off the night on a strong note, with the crowd vibe-ing along to the band, doused in a teal glow. The band’s music was ideal to sway back-and-forth, at times alternating between a droning chant and an arpeggio-based jam.
The venue started to really fill out during Go Cozy. During sound check, the guitarist and sound-guy joked about the difference between “nice reverb” and “shitty reverb” after he asked for some “nice reverb” on his vocals, the sound guy, not hearing, asked “some what reverb?” Whether the two men ultimately decided to settle on nice reverb or shitty reverb, it sounded great.
Go Cozy’s drummer Ryan looked familiar even though I had never seen them before. It turned out that I had seen him play with local band Foozle a couple of times. I was further impressed by the talented drummer when he stayed on stage to play another set when The Sea Life took over the show.
The Sea Life came out with almost violent energy. They were clearly having fun as they flailed their guitar necks around in unison while playing new songs to a warm audience reception.
All the bands playing the showcase were highly dynamic, but Young Rapids took the contrast of hard and soft to a new level. Transitioning from a feedback-laden, old-sounding radio transmission to their new material, the band got the packed crowd moving with polished, danceable grooves. A flame-like light illuminated the band as they married a Zombies-esque keyboard with shredding guitar fills.
Experimental jazzy instrumental interludes truncated with the band’s ability to start and stop on a dime captivated the crowd. This resulted in a proper encore, with the audience enthusiastically cheering until Young Rapids returned to rock the house in near-darkness for a few more excellent songs.