Summer is winding down for us teachers, so we are making sure to take full advantage of our free time and are hitting as many shows as possible before things pick back up for us. Friday night we had the opportunity to catch two acts making their first ever stops in Louisville.
We started with Death From Above 1979, the Toronto rock band who has been touring pretty hard since their recent reunion and album. Though the Mercury Ballroom wasn’t completely filled, the fans who came out for this weekend show were all clearly huge supporters of DFA. Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastien Grainger showed out for those of us in attendance. The middle portion of their set really got the crowd going, with some aggressive dancing going on for sure. Both men are uncommonly talented, carrying such a strong and dynamic sound between the two of them. Grainger particularly stood out purely because of the intensity that he plays the drums paired with his ability to carry the melody vocally for each song – sounds really effing hard.
Zanzabar also played host to a band new to our city: ELEL. The eight-piece band had six members on stage for their Friday Zbar set, but we got the idea: there are a lot of intricacies that a small number of people are able to put together into something coherent. The group that we saw consisted of five guys and a girl. For the most part three of the group played the same instrument throughout (bass, trumpet, drums) and the other three rotated between keys, guitar and other stuff. Those three also carried a majority of the vocals, harmonizing very nicely for each song. Joining them on stage were several custom created geodes, which were a neat touch. The band was on the move to Detroit to perform in their new Mo Pop Festival; the lineup looked impressive, so I’m sure everyone had a ball up north. The Nashville band has some Kentucky ties, as one member, Zach Tichenor is originally from Owensboro. A few friends were in the crowd to see the band in The Bluegrass, which I’m sure is always appreciated, and hopefully encourages them to head back this way soon.