Last Saturday I attended Exit Dome IV, a benefit show for local radio WEXT 97.7 featuring some great 518 performers. WEXT has been playing local music a lot for about four years now, I can get behind the idea of returning the favor. There is really no shortage of good bands in the Capital District, and if you like live music, loads of opportunities to support them when they play out. They aren’t too difficult to find either, listen to the pulse of your city and give them a chance. I was excited to hear Upstate NY’s darling Phantogram perform again, with a real drummer this time. I had not taken pictures of a concert in almost six months, that itch needed to be scratched too.
More photos below. Click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed. Here are the links to the individual slideshows for Phantogram, Charlie Watts Riots, Que Caro, and The Rodeo Barons.
It felt great to experience Phantogram again. If a local power duo is going to make it big in the future, it’s likely to be Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. I had caught them on video a few times in the past, in pictures at Northern Lights, Rev Hall twice, Circus Cafe and Red Square, but never at the WMHT Studios. They didn’t disappoint, the band briefly known as Charlie Everywhere has unmistakably honed its skill since I last saw them, thanks to some extensive touring in the US and Europe. Pictured above, bangs queen Sarah Bartel, and below, facial hair king Josh Carter. Click on the thumbnails above for more photos, or check the Phantogram slideshow on Flickr.
The band plowed through a few titles from “Eyelid Movies” and delivered a new track called “Make a Fist”. If you aren’t familiar with this Electronic / Alternative / Rock act yet give your best ear to “When I m Small”, “As Far As I Can See”, “You Are the Ocean”, “Futuristic Casket”, and “Let Me Go” on SoundCloud. The highlight of Phantogram’s appearance for me was the addition of a “real” drummer, the talented Tim Oakley of Upstate NY’s band The Mathematicians (pictured below). He brought great energy to the table and elevated some of the more solid songs to new heights. The guy is intense, it took me a dozen shots to capture his beard barely in focus.
Find more about Phantogram on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter & Barsuk Records. A few days later they were scheduled to perform “Mouthful of Diamonds” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, joined by über-drummer ?uestlove of the Roots. They will appear at Coachella 2011 this spring too, both great opportunities that will hopefully serve them well.
Playing right before Phantogram, The Charlie Watts Riots set the studio on fire and pulverized a few hearing aids in the process. I can’t really speak for the audience that night, but their Exit Dome set rocked my house. Sure, I was taking pictures five feet from a speaker, but the songs are no doubt catchy, the look is tight, and they don’t skip a beat. This is what a solid live show is all about, the kind of engaging performance that can certainly start vocations in the younger assistance. Click on the thumbnails above for more photos, or check the CWR slideshow on Flickr.
Pictured above, Brendan Pendergast vocal/guitar, Mike Pauley vocals/bass, most likely during their impressive and very joyful cover of Wings’ “Jet”. I hung out with CWR backstage before the show for a bit, they are a plain fun, no nonsense bunch of misfits. With suits.
Pictured above, one of the many faces of drummer Joe Putrock. I already had great respect for Joe Putrock the photographer, but Joe The Animal was giving all he’s got and more on the drums that night. You don’t want to be reincarnated as Joe’s cymbals, unless you enjoy a beating.
Photo above, Mike Pauley to the left, Seth Powell vocal/guitar to the right. Find more about the Charlie Watts Riots on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. I had last seen them at LarkFEST 2010, keep an eye open for more appearances in 2011, or catch their album Long Story Short on iTunes.
I had only heard Que Caro once before, at Valentines last year, I was looking forward Caroline Corrigan’s beautiful voice again. The Americana / Blues / Folk Rock band resonated like sweet, comfort food to my ears, and if that doesn’t sound like a compliment, then it was just lost in translation. Click on the thumbnails above for more photos, or check the Que Caro slideshow on Flickr.
Eric Margan (above) on bass and harmonies did great as well, I recalled seeing him at LarkFEST 2009 with The Red Lions. Complimenting the band, Jonnie Baker at the guitar and multi-talented Rick Spataro on drums (also in Slender Shoulders at the guitar). I’m a drummer myself and I just decided to call myself multi-talended from now on, since I consider the cowbell to be a full-fledged instrument. Like the kazoo. Except nobody wants more kazoo.
Que Caro played a great song called “Lean on Me” during the night, ending with a superb a cappella section. I can’t find the song online unfortunately, but you should request it next time you see them in town. Do bands still accept requests? Find more about Que Caro on MySpace & Facebook.
The Rodeo Barons (above) kicked off my night at The Dome with a well rounded Alternative / Country / Folk Rock set of songs. That’s as much as I can say, I didn’t quite connect with this music , but technically I can’t but tip my hat to Chris Carey and his friends (most of Railbird, really). My gut feeling is that there is something deeply cultural about country music, it just doesn’t work as well when you are not from here. We do have a form of country music in France, but I’d rather you forget I ever mentioned it. Click on the thumbnails above for more photos, or check the The Rodeo Barons slideshow on Flickr.
Also in the band, James Gascoyne, Mike O’Donnell, Chris Kyle and Sam Zucchini on drums. The Rodeo Barons are fairly new, I couldn’t locate them online, but the band’s front man is a good start, Chris Carey on MySpace.
Singer-songwriter Bryan Thomas (above) was performing solo in the lobby in between each acts. I was not familiar with his work, and I’m afraid I’m still not since I didn’t spend much time in the lobby. That wouldn’t be a reason not to take a picture of the artist, right? I hope to hear him play live another time. Find more about Bryan on MySpace, Facebook & Twitter.
I missed the other two bands. Slender Shoulders (Facebook) played first from what I heard. The Folk / Indie / Pop duo of vocalist-guitarist Katie Hammon and guitarist Rick Spataro was joined by bassist Eric Margan (Red Lions, Que Caro) and friend Matthew Carefully on drums. Nancy Walker & Friends followed, with guitarist Larry Clyman and percussionist Sam Zucchini.
Great thanks to WEXT/WHMT for organizing this concert. I’m not sure seating was the best way to experience the show, I wish people in the studio had been a bit more pro-active, but I understand it’s a recording studio and the crowd was a bit older. I’m nitpicking. Support your local artists if you can, and enjoy music, always!
Disclaimer: Nippertown got me a photo pass.
There is more to read: LIVE: Exit Dome IV @ WEXT/WMHT Studios by Nippertown, Listening to local music by Sara Foss, Exit Dome 4: Local 518 Impresses by Mike Grutka at Talk About the Passion, Throats, Barbecue, Exits and Phantogram by Kevin Marshall.
Jason Lehr was on duty for Nippertown as well, he brought back photos on Flickr.