My first show at The Space was a neat experience. Surrounded by young, hipster indie kids, looking to dance is something I’m not used to. Another thing I’m not used to is opening acts that are actually pretty good! Opening act The Guru is a CT-based quartet that at times reminded me of Q and not U because of their drum lines, and vocals with a punk ethic not unlike Against Me!. And speaking of drums, this band’s drummer is also the lead singer which is unusual in any band; I’ve only seen it a handful of times. The entire band exuded an energy that one could expect from a group still in high school, yet their technical skills actually matched the presence they gave off. If this can be considered an “indie” band (by more than just the obvious meaning of “Independent label”), then I need to discover the sub-genre for this kind of music and hit more shows. Especially if they are all as fun as The Guru. One thing to note: Their myspace page recordings, while decent, don’t do the band justice to their live set.
Maybe I committed a horrible offense by not staying for the featured act The Lydia. Especially since this is their farewell tour, but hopefully the music gods will forgive me because I could not imagine an act following River City Extension, the band that dragged me out to Hamden in the first place. RCE blend folk, lyrical as well as thrash (according to their myspace page) which is such an insufficient way to describe a band that has energy, heart, talent and gorgeous lyrics. This 8-piece band had an interesting time fitting on The Space’s tiny (and I mean tiny) stage, which includes a brass section, a cellist, keyboard, tambourines and more, fronted by charismatic singer/songwriter Joe Michelini. Their foot-stomping set included songs off their recently released first full-length album “The Unmistakable Man” such as the high energy “Our New Intelligence” that has a breakdown in the middle of the song that garners the vocals of just about every member of the band, as well as “Something Salty, Something Sweet” that included an audience participation singalong, and the sweet but still catchy “Adrienne”. Check out a video of River City Extension playing The Bone Marrow Twist & Shout, which is the song they have been ending their sets with on this tour. According to staff at The Space, expect to see River City Extension back September 15th. Keep an eye out for them; this band puts on a phenomenal show that is not to be missed.