Sunday, April 3, 2016

Concert Review: DREAMERS @ Milkboy - Philadelphia, PA 03/29/16

I would like to start by saying, thanks to Fran for the opportunity to write for this blog. Its an interesting experience  to write about a band I've never heard before. This is the best way to be introduced to any band for that matter. You get a glimpse into what the band is about and what makes them tick. The songs are presented as they where written, and there can be a HUGE difference in how the song is written, what is intended, how it gets treated during recording and wHAT GETS HEARD (yes clever reader! that was my fIREHOSE reference).

It's going to be a challenge to tell you about the Arkells and Dreamers, because I didn't really get into the bands. I will tell you with out any disingenuous smoke both bands are god damn great. Its just not my particular brand of vodka (you see, I don't drink vodka). The Arkells put heart and soul into this set and I imagine they do every set. I can even see them keeping a great game face when the good stuff isn't coming to them on a given evening. It means something to these guys to connect with the audience.

It's comforting, with all the obligatory clever hipster snark and Palmate and beards and a weird arbitrary fascination with all things retro that this level of true blue these guys roll can cut through that fecund swamp and get people to reciprocate the band's energy.

Also, the vocals harmonies are spot on, the drummer is legit and the man on the keys has a kind of Garth Hudson vibe that fit this band to the letter.

 At one point the power to the stage went out. The singer managed to keep the energy level to the ceiling while crooning "Stand by Me". Try and find another act to pull that off!

The Dreamers have a  New York too cool for school vibe but that connection with the audience is just as strong and crucial to their live presence.

Strange to me that the place cleared out by half when they took the stage. Unfazed, they jangle rocked on as if it where a packed house. I dig power trios. An additional member here would be redundant and cumbersome,

They manage to eat up a lot of sonic territory the way U2 did in the early lean days. (I know they are not a three piece but the musicians sans Bono created quite a soundscape). To be clear they DO NOT sound like U2.

These guys are a straight up jangle pop band and don't try to pretend to be otherwise. This is a musical genre that will never go out of style.

While the Arkells had a kind of folky(?) influence, The Dreamers bring a straight rock and roll style.

Both bands put heart and soul into their performances and i would imagine, their recordings as well. There's nothing that can take the place of the energy coming off the stage or the loop created by an audience who locked into that energy no matter how good a recording or song writing for that matter. I would quickly dismiss both bands if I heard them on the radio. As I said earlier It's not my kind of music. Hats off to you gentlemen! You had my attention the whole way, Damn good sets.

Keep the windows down and your eyes on the horizon!


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