CAUGHT LIVE – Rogue Wave, Man/Miracle, JBM at the High Noon Saloon 4/16/10

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Mai 10 2010, 15h54

Fri 16 Apr – Rogue Wave

It's easy to let life changes in any band to bleed through onto stage and studio. Bands by nature share bloodlines with both gangs and gypsys; a self-contained and unified front, yet living out of a suitcase. It's only natural for the album-to-album, show-to-show sine waves of joy and despair to show up from time to time. From that logic, Oakland's Rogue Wave would have the most depressing, maudlin catalogues in indie rock. The band has endured numerous setbacks, any one of which would have shattered your average band. (To briefly summarize: lead singer/songwriter suffers two slipped discs in his back, drummer has agonizing ordeal with liver disease and transplant, original bassist dies in building fire) Yet the five members of Rogue Wave that climbed onto the High Noon Saloon on a Friday night had nothing on their agenda but to drown the audience in waves of chipper sound. The band were supporting their recently-released Permalight their most upbeat and dance-oriented set, and the throngs of smiling, bobbing heads seemed to approve. Still, when lead Wave Zach Rogue announced they were playing “some old stuff” (a coy reference to their pair of Sub Pop records) the audience roared their appreciation and old standbys like Bird on a Wire and Every Moment were warmly received. The band did a good job of blending that era with stuff from their newer releases. Lake Michigan predictably got the biggest crowd reaction as the penultimate number of the main set, but the night's biggest moment was saved for the final number, Permalight's title track. Several members of the opening bands crowded onto the stage, finding whatever instruments they could to add to the joyous din.

Serving as support act for Zach and co. were fellow Oakland rockers
Man/Miracle, who took a more dense and bezerk approach to their pop songs. Most of the songs zipped along in two to three minute bursts of frenzied riffing and drumming; singer/guitarist Dylan Travis owed a bit of his stage demeanor to David Byrne during his time with Talking Heads, but the music was far more propulsive and spastic (albeit it in a good way.) Before Man/Miracle, a solitary figure by the name of JBM played melancholy, hushed folk-rock. Considering the other two acts were doling out pop hooks left and right, JBM's gentle picking and austere singing didn't catch for a good chunk of the audience. Still, JBM displayed considerable instrumental skills (a few songs he strummed, sang and played bass drum) and a pleasant, Duncan Sheik-esque style of balladry.

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