all words and photos: Mindy Garrett
Peanut Butter and Dave are great! It was a small crowd at the Rock and Roll Hotel, but everyone was quite cheerful and excited.
An adorable two-man operation, Peanut Butter and Dave are a light, upbeat, drum-and-guitar act from Silver Spring. Is it unfair to get really excited when two nerdy men take to the stage? Maybe it’s unfair to call them nerds, although I mean it as a compliment, and frankly, I’m a bit of a nerd, myself…I’m rambling…that’s how smitten I am with them.
Nonetheless, they were a world better than their opening act The Riverbreaks (new rule – minus 100 million points for wearing a backwards baseball cap on stage. Have we, as a society, no dignity?). I spent The Riverbreaks’ set coming up with snappy one-liners about how much I disliked them – here are a few:
“If you liked Three Doors Down, You’ll Love The Riverbreaks!”
“Hey Guys! We’re The Riverbreaks! Welcome to the UVA freshman mixer! 1,2,3,4!”
I didn’t say they were clever one-liners…
But back to Peanut Butter and Dave!
The drums (which featured a cowbell) reminded me of CAKE and the guitar reminded me of They Might be Giants: jangly, melodic little tunes with a solid and distinct beat behind them. In fact, the songs were very reminiscent of (but not a bad knock-off of) They Might be Giants. I haven’t really been hearing that sound lately, and I miss it. Plus, the cowbell was well-integrated into their songs…I was half-expecting something a little gimmicky, but instead, it was nicely blended into the drumming. Overall, it was a wonderful, fun set full of well-crafted and well-performed songs.
I suppose my one criticism was the vocals, which were generally somewhat whiny and standard-emo. However, about three songs into their set, Dave (or perhaps it was Peanut Butter on lead vocals) switched to more of a shout, which complemented their low-key, alterna-pop sound a bit better. I’d recommend they experiment with those vocals a bit more. Bottom line: If I could marry Peanut Butter and Dave, as a band, I would, and I would listen to them nightly while fixing dinner. I declare them charming, and I demand you all see them when they play again!