Showing some serious love for local music, KPBS has begun filming a music series called “Live At The Belly Up.” Choosing North County’s finest venue they are setting up diverse lineups to record shows with and will air starting them in January 2013. Last week’s show taping featured an eclectic bill with The Styletones, The Tilt, and Dead Feather Moon. Each band brought a unique style and energy to the stage. If this night were an indicator of what the show and the lineups will bring- local music fans are in for some serious treats.
With several KPBS camera set ups around the club last Monday every bit of the awesomeness was surely captured. A host-type dude came out announcing the bands and encouraging audience enthusiasm. Of course, it wasn’t hard to coax folks into dancing and enjoying themselves with the caliber of music performed. The diverse sets of music offered everything from upbeat soul to country-fied rock.
The Styletones started things with typical swagger. Singer Stevie Harris is always fun to watch from hitting his piercing high notes to dancing all around the stage in his signature white clothing from top to bottom. The rich sounds of The Styletones are anchored by drummer Jake Najor who makes leading the band look effortless from behind his drums. The hard-working men in the band show passion in each song and you can’t help but dance along. With only 40 minutes to show their stuff they packed in tons of great tunes including “Sanctified Strut” and, my personal favorite, “Watcha Looking For.”
I’d never seen The Tilt, who were up next, but thoroughly enjoyed their brand of country bluesy rock. Singer Jesse Malley held her own on a stage that was male-dominated throughout the night. She belted her tunes, stomped her heels and looked like she was having a hell of a good time doing it. Guitarist Jeff Irwin killed his solos and alternated mandolin on some tunes, which added a welcomed nuance to the set. Excited to see that this band plans to release an album next year.
Lastly Dead Feather Moon took the stage. Their set was tight with excellent song selections and each member poised to give it their best. The recently recorded “Sons of Royalty” stood out as a highlight of the set and along with other new songs showcased what their next album promises to bring. As DFM finished up their set they launched into crowd favorite “Hellhounds” with its quick pace and howling vocals I doubt there was a still body in the room. The band left the stage for a brief moment and Host Guy came back and asked if the audience was ready to go home. After some cheers he said there was time for one more song. Dead Feather Moon returned to the stage and finished the night with “Dark Horse” ending the night on a fantastic high note.
With all these bands bringing their best to this taping of “Live at The Belly Up” music fans should be excited about more of these shows coming up. Here’s what KPBS and the show have on tap so far: