Thursday, December 24, 2009

Show Review: It's A Beachland Christmas, 12/23 (CB Show of the Month Recap)

Last night's 7-band spectacular at the Beachland was awesome. I haven't had that much fun at a show in a while. Every single band in the Ballroom sounded great and, thanks to Cleveland's own Renaissance Man Lawrence Daniel Caswell, every band in the Tavern sounded LOUD. (It is no small feat to have a band sound loud AND good, so give Mr. Caswell props next time you see him for hooking that mixture up.)

Even with all the fun I had and good music I heard, I have considerably mixed feelings about the show. Those mixed feelings come down to one major reason: it was likely the last time Unsparing Sea will ever perform. I've loved that band since first hearing them and have done my best to champion their work ever since (though, in fairness, the awesomeness they bring to the table in both their live performances and their recorded work makes such championing pretty damn easy), and it truly sucks to think that they won't be around anymore. But, you all know how this god damn economy is, and sometimes folks gotta make a move to stay afloat. So as frontman J.R. Bennett and his wife relocate to Tennessee, I wish them the very best of luck and send them a whole lot of appreciation for the art they've shared with us these past few years.

Even in the clouds of such a departure, there was still quite a lot of light last night to celebrate. I hinted at this last night in a semi-serious facebook status update about that terrible Live song, "Lightning Crashes." You know, the video where the old dude dies and, at the same moment, a baby is born, symbolizing the constant flow of life on Earth blah blah blah. Right? Remember that one? Anyway, the show for me was somewhat like that. Even as I saw one of my favorite bands play their last set, maybe an hour later I saw another band for the first time that blew my socks off. They've been around a bit, and if you already know of these guys, pardon my late discovery, but next time you are halfway thinking about attending a show and you see that Tastycakes is opening, get your ass there pronto. These guys put on a show that pulled every single person, including the most curmudgeonly indie rock aesthetes, in and got them dancing. Including yours truly. I simply cannot wait to see them again live.

Beyond the loss of one band and the discovery of another, I am pleased to report that, as expected, The Modern Electric ruled, even as they were breaking in a new guitar player, and Bears played a set so smooth and fun that you'd hardly believe it was a reunion show. (Incidentally, if you are a Bears fan, check out this link for a great little Christmas tune they put out recently on a new holiday 7 inch. There's an Afternoon Naps one here, too.) I didn't get to hear much of the music in the Tavern, but I can say this - Terminal Lovers are loud and heavy and awesome and Mystery of Two is gonna be a 216 band that continues to get a lot of love from bigger and bigger swathes of the US.

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