To finish up my marathon of three shows in four days I caught three acts at The Casbah on Monday night. After ringing in the new year with The Silent Comedy at the LaFayette Hotel I (mostly) knew what I was in for- a good fucking time. Transfer I’ve tried to see for years and has been recommended as a band I’d enjoy a number of times (including a minute before their set). And I had just caught my second, and much more memorable, set by Dead Feather Moon two nights prior. Plus The Casbah tops my top five venues list and continues to impress me with a well-balanced, fun-loving crowd, affordable drinks, prime location, and superior sound system (I say as if I know anything about such things). To say I was pumped for the night miiiiiight be an understatement. Also, because my concert pictures are so dismal, I offer you… The Jungle Cat
Since I’ve already gushed about Dead Feather Moon here, I’ll keep my summation brief. They rocked. Again. The set was a truncated version of what I saw Saturday, but just as kick ass. Sounding just as rich and well-rounded. Plus an absolute highlight for me was Al Howard of The Heavy Guilt making a (much too) brief cameo on their opener “Everything I Haven’t Said.” Bravo.
Next up was Transfer. I have tried to see them twice in the past six months. Originally slated to play Rocktoberfest (scene of my rolling brown outs), they were removed from the bill much to my dismay. (Well kind of, I paid $5 a ticket for that day of epicness so I can’t complain too much.) And then on New Year’s Eve their set time coincided with The Heavy Guilt’s. My devotion for the Guilt won out. Their set on Monday at the Casbah, for me, left something to be desired. I’m not sure if it was where I was standing (left side of the stage) but something seemed off with the sound level and the bass seemed muted. The songs I have come to really enjoy from their latest disc, “Future Selves” weren’t on the set list, so I was a bit disappointed. The rest of the crowd didn’t seem to feel the same. Kudos to the chick front and center of the stage with a legit looking camera who knew every lyric and looked like she was in heaven. I love people who love music.
Since I’d prefer not to dwell on what I didn’t like I shall move onto the main event of the night. Oh The Silent Comedy… this performance has solidified my fan status. From what I’ve heard (on Spotify) I’d say I liked about half of their tunes… before tonight. Some of them I completely love. Their NYE performance was great, truly, but the sound in the “Mississippi Room” was kind of shitty as was the crowd bumping into one another with fervor. (I did, however, greatly enjoy watching them perform on a trippy looking shell stage.) This performance at the Casbah was a vast improvement sound-wise and a better representation of what TCS can do. The duality of vocals by brothers Joshua and Jeremiah Zimmerman offer something harmonious and, yet, feature their unique talents at the same time. The band also includes great work on the drums and guitar and showmanship by all. Also, I’d be remiss not to mention the epic hair of the band. Between Joshua Zimmerman’s locks and Justin Buchanan’s impressive mustache there’s a lot of hair flying around that stage when they really get into a tune. This is another band (like Dead Feather Moon) which defies trite “sounds like” comparisons. The Casbah set showcased the full-tilt range of the group. The Irish-folk-like “Victory” features a sing-song, nursery rhyme quality that is completely endearing… particularly when Jeremiah sing-whispers the words “it’s too late” from stage’s edge with the fine focus of his piercing blue eyes. For fans of the grittier side of The Silent Comedy “Exploitation” and “Poison” were obvious crowd favorites inspiring plenty of unabashed foot stomping. Joshua Zimmerman’s powerhouse vocals carried these tunes along with his undeniable stage presence. He also introduced a couple of new songs (wish I had the names) which were both incredibly mastered and should give us all something to look forward to as another record seems on the close horizon. Rounding out the variety of the set was an unexpected cover of the haunting “Tonight’s the Night” by Neil Young… I think I died and went to live music heaven, this performance was, in a word: ethereal. And while it’s great to see TCS going out on the road and garnering a deserving following, I’m sure I’m not the only fan who will be awaiting a homecoming. Hopefully back to the Casbah (while I’m making wishes and all).
Sounds to Sample from The Silent Comedy: