California Blues

A needle in a steel wool haystack.

Evening Musications from a Satyr, a Fury, and Their Hydratic Drummer

At least that’s what the night evokes. Greek mythology, and not the cherubic kind full of group hugs and happy endings. Nico Vega demolished the Roxy with a crowd full of groupies, friends, and other locals with nothing to do on a Tuesday. Leading them in were The Silent Years, a Detroit band harkening back to the era of The Arcade Fire. How did Detroit earn the title of Rock City anyways? I thought it was most famous for Motown, Blues, and hipsters playing easy listening rock in churches. Oh right, Kiss. ‘Cause they took themselves seriously.

The Silent Years comes out with an poorly mixed cello, they apologize as they haven’t played in awhile. And unfortunately they sound like it. The group doesn’t really really hit its stride until the last two songs, when they stop playing with alternate and guest instruments. Even then their stride does not jive with the crowd. Happy-go-lucky attempts at a fantastical aural experience is not what fans of Nico Vega want to hear. In a final bid to win the crowd, the lead singer passes out sweets during the last song. Oddly, he decides to throw them out to the back, so he hits a lot of unsuspecting people in the face with hard candy.

And we go from hard candy to hydras, dancing satyrs and a singing Fury. The crowd wakes up when Nico Vega takes the stage. The first song hits all your senses at once and pulls everyone to the front, crowding the stage. Rich Koehler strums and dances around with his guitar just like a satyr might with his lyre-he even has the tightly packed fro and the bare torso under a light waistcoat. Dan Epland destroys the drums as he tears through every fast paced foot pounding song. He seems to have eight arms, not eight heads, but an octopaitic drummer doesn’t sounds half as good as “hydratic.” That and by the middle of the show he’s completely drenched in sweat and likely a bit odorous. Aja Volkman owns the stage as the lead singer. She doesn’t dance around like most, she prowls across the stage singing her guts out. During a slow song, everyone but Volkman gets a breather, including Epland. The drummer downs a 40oz bottle of malt liquor to pass the time. By the time they get to ‘Cocaine Cooked the Brain,’ I’m surprised Aja hops down off the stage and prowls around the audience keeping everyone at high octane overdrive. Epland’s beer must’ve given him more energy, as his hands and feet fire off like pistons during ‘Cocaine’. Nico Vega continues their brand of high speed live performance all the way through the encore. The entire audience chants along with “Beast of America” as they finish the encore. As everyone leaves the stage, Koehler lifts up his amp, holds it over his head, and slams it into the stage. These guys are probably the most out of control and in your face live band I’ve seen. Definitely worth catching when you can.

8 September 2009


15 October 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

    Comment by Savannah | 17 October 2009 | Reply

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