Up front, I gotta say, what this show did was make me salivate for Frontier Ruckus’s new album. Last fall, Matthew Milia told me that their follow-up to Deadmalls & Nightfalls was going to be even more dense and complex, and it is, based on the new songs that they played last night, but it’s also lighter and more full of space, wide open moon nights and love songs about fictional love triangles and hope. They’re one of the best live bands out there, Milia’s strange plaintive voice and the musicianship of his surrounding band, especially banjo player Davey Jones and jack-of-all-trumpets Zach. It was a small but rapt crowd, and the band played straight to them. As always with the Ruckus, it was intimate and note perfect. Lovely, lovely.
Philadelphia’s Hoots & Hellmouth opened; they are without a doubt one of my favorite bands who almost never ever ever plays convenient North Carolina dates. (Almost because they played Raleigh last year.) They have stomp boxes and Rob is playing all these complex organ and piano lines under Sean Hoots’ increasingly complex songwriting — Sean has always been the master of a lyric, but they’re getting more shudderingly sad and startling. It was beyond a pleasure to see them again and get to hang out a little after their set; they are one of the best little known bands out there and you should try to hit one of these FR/H&H tour dates, for sure.
Full set is here.