This particular Saturday was like many recent Saturdays in the sense that there was plenty going on. We had a skip out on a couple of things but stopped by two full local venues for some colorful shows.
“It is good to be here, and it is good for ‘here’ to be home.”
Vandaveer is now centralized in Lou and they played a series of shows as a part of WFPK’s artist in residency to get warmed up to Derby City. The culminating show at Zanzabar was a great way to wrap up their string of performances. Not to mention, the band just released their latest album, The Wild Mercury, aka it was set to be a good night. I think this was the first time we’d seen them and my main takeaway was that this band is incredibly cohesive and tight in the delivery, which I for some reason found to be refreshing (literally what I put in my notes.) Joining the duo was Southern Indiana’s Brooks Ritter. We’d heard his stuff and followed the singer-songwriter on social media but this was the first live encounter. The man can definitely write quality music and his passionate performance was an ideal opening act for Vandaveer. Ritter shared some exciting news about his forthcoming album, currently being recorded, so we expect to hear more and more of him in 2016.
Next we headed to Headliners for a very polar set from Highly Suspect. This Grammy nominated band had only very recently been included on a Communion Residency lineup at Zanzabar but played for a sold out Headliners this night. (This is a bonafide example of what the Communion Series is about!) The raw tenacity of the band was very apparent from the beginning. I mean I saw several loogies dislodged and lots of sweat flying simply because front man Johnny Stevens was going at it so hard. Their utterly aggressive guitar playing is juxtaposed quite nicely with almost poppy voices, which I think is part of the appeal. Their rise has been a quick one and it is always fun to be on that trip with them.