LOCAL BREWS, LOCAL GROOVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two stages and fourteen bands in a 20 minute set rotation–it was kind of like rock and roll speed dating Friday night at the Listen Local SD event at the House of Blues. If you weren’t into the featured band’s sound, you only had to hold out a little while longer to be presented with a new flavor. With KPRi’s Cathryn Beeks keeping the night’s tight schedule on track through PA shout outs of band introductions and changes, the crowd was corralled like a joyous herd of cattle from room to room and band to band.

While a lot of different musical bases were covered throughout the night, it centered mainly around rock and roll. The best representation of that came early in the night when the four piece The Hollerin delivered a fiery set of blues rock. Lead singer Christian Taylor lead The Hollerin’s charge with a thick blues growl. Partnered with Leonardo Moura’s well placed meaty guitar licks, the band created the night’s most engaging set. The Hollerin played and acted like a headliner, owning the main stage and turning out a blistering 20 minute set.

Parker Ainsworth followed The Hollerin’s knock out set with his laid back acoustic singer songwriter sound. And stylistically speaking, that’s a tough act to follow. Props to him, though, for keeping the audience engaged, most notably as he free-styled an off-the-cuff number on three words he asked the audience to shout out at random, one of them being hula-hoops. The solid depth of Ainsworth’s voice and lyrics was both impressive and effective, showcasing his intelligent and varied material, especially when things got a little bluesy.

The Delta room, no more than 30 feet away from the main stage, provided an intimate, if not at times cramped, space for seven other bands. Gatsby’s Fiddle turned out a crash and bash, high energy set as did The Broken Stems. The Stems’ three piece 311-ish reggae, punk rock repertoire was one of the most well-received sets of the night. They really took advantage of their 20 minutes, relying on a no-nonsense jam that was full of passion and sweat.

Though I enjoyed shuffling from room to room, I might have chosen to flip a few bands to the opposite stage. As The Crow Flies, with their loud arena rock presence and attention-nabbing front man, was no exception here. To say the least, they would have made for a fierce main stage set.

Bands and brews alike, it was a great taster for some home grown talent. Thanks for a good night out, ListenLocalSD.com.

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