The first show of the year (for me) was a nice follow-up to last year’s last live show. Three bands that I saw at the SpokesBUZZ CD Release Party in December were playing at Road 34 last weekend, which meant I was of course there. The first of these shows was on Friday night, January 18. The Echo Chamber opened for Post Paradise, so both bands whose t-shirts I really liked last month were there with their excellent shirts. I didn’t get an Echo Chamber shirt yet, but I am now the proud owner of a lovely and very comfortable blue Post Paradise shirt. Both bands’ shows were excellent, though as I mentioned last time I wrote about these bands, Post Paradise is a lot more my style of music than Echo Chamber.
This is not to say I dislike Echo Chamber, and I was certainly not wishing for temporary deafness while I was photographing Echo Chamber’s set. While they use few words (and I rather like lyrics and singing) these guys are skilled musicians who craft a fine blend of sound, always at least interesting enough to not become the wall of deafening sound many rock bands (even those WITH lyrics) resort to. If you can’t actually hear any distinguishable melodies or harmonies, you of course can’t hear if the song is played badly, but then it is also only music the way the ashes of a canvas are a painting. I get the idea of these modern challenges to conventional arts, but I appreciate that all the bands at last weekend’s shows make music I recognize as music.
Echo Chamber’s songs to my ear resemble the instrumental bridges of rock tunes, but expanded out and elaborated into songs of their own. A century ago this would have been the starting point, building off of classical music, and adding lyrics would have been weird and experimental, actually. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to compare Echo Chamber to the mature Mozart, but maybe they are an equivalent to the young Mozart at least, translated into modern society.
Maybe it’s just the presence of a real live cellist in Post Paradise, but I find this band’s interpretation of rock music refreshing and interesting, and they are lots of fun to photograph. This band invested in a set of very cool stage lights, which make a huge difference in how they present themselves on stage. While their companion band for the evening was bathed only in the reddish- pinkish glow of the house stage lights, Post Paradise was illuminated in an array of saturated moving beams of colored light that highlighted soloists and added interest and drama to even the less dramatic and catchy ‘set-filler’ songs the band included in their show. Even if their music sucked it would have been a fun show, but this is one of the better Fort Collins bands, one that just needs a bit of luck to start emerging properly onto the national and international stage. (Darn! I forgot to get their autographs while I was at Road 34 with them last weekend. One of these days they’ll be too famous for me to obtain their autographs quite so casually. Next time…)