Things got started a little late, but thanks to Esox and the All Star Game, I had plenty to keep me busy in the meantime. When the show did open, it was with Luke Brandfon, one member of Heartthrobz, playing solo. His solo artist name? Luke.
His music was catchy and dance-able, but the room was still fairly empty, and I fully admit that I fell victim to my own awkwardness and stood in the back. Still, with his keyboards and simple lyrics, Luke was completely endearing, and a great preview of what was to come with the Heartthrobz set. Head over to his myspace page and listen to "That Place" for a good taste. Its opening line, "Hey, I like your style, I like how you wear a fanny pack with every outfit", is my personal favorite.
[If you check out that song and love it, you can check out Luke himself TONIGHT (Friday) at The Ground Round. Seriously. 9 p.m. for awkward fun and drink specials!]
Next up was Vanderpolls, who sounded surprisingly like The Jazz Guys! Ha. Bad joke courtesy of Herb. Same look, same sound, same members, new name. The crowd filled in a little more by this point, and everyone moved closer to the stage to enjoy the music. My friend, a Vander-virgin, pointed to Max, and asked, "Why is he wearing gym shorts? Is he a basketball player?". I calmly assured him that the group's energetic performance would prove the workout outfit necessary. And as usual, it did.
I asked the boys after their set for their reasoning behind the name change. They shrugged and said that it was just time, and a good New Year's Resolution for 2008, to boot. My other sources indicate that a name a little lighter on the irony could present them with more touring opportunities. Especially on the college circuit. I agree. But it might take me a while to get used to it. On Tuesday, every time Herb would get on the mic and say, "Thank you, we're the Vanderpolls!", I would think to myself, Well, you and Maarten are...
Heartthrobz followed Vanderpolls.The Ohio-based band is made up of EdHeart, LuKiss (aka Luke), and Alluren, and as their myspace claims, sounds like "a party". Really Heartthrobz is an electro-pop outfit, complete with drum beats, keyboards, and lots of voice effects. Apparently the group is living in Burlington until the end of July, and after seeing them live, I want to call them up and ask them to play in my living room every morning around 7:30. After all, I've been having a hard time waking up lately, and I really can't think of a more effective solution than my own personal Heartthrobz dance party.
Alluren and EdHeart flirtatiously played off each other, and the crowd at Metronome jumped on board with the band. There was soon a packed crowd of dancers directly in front of the stage and after their set, everyone was... glistening.
I have to pause here to thank Tick Tick for arranging such a great lineup, because when Heartthrobz finished, I heard more than one person hiss excitedly, "and there's still The Mae Shi!". Luckily the set break gave us all enough to time to grab some water and take a turn in front of the fan, as another dance party was about to start.
The Mae Shi are a little bit harder to qualify than Heartthrobz. Their sound switches from hardcore punk to pop and right back again. On their myspace page, they say, "At its core therock and roll band is a surrogate family for our culturally extendedchildhood, it's our self-help group, it's our soap box, it's a way tosee what we're really capable of. Growing up is tough. This is ourattempt to grow up." I love that quote and I love that I had a chance to experience them "growing up" first hand.
But don't worry if you missed it, because the music video for "Run to your Grave" more than sums it up. This was already my favorite song by The Mae Shi, but I didn't watch the video until after seeing them live. And now, I can say from experience that its an accurate portrayal of their live show. Well, clones aside, anyway.
So check it out, and while you're at it, check out what Tick Tick has on the rest of its summer calendar. As Tuesday reaffirmed, these guys know their shit when it comes to putting together a great show.