Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's out and about covering two exciting shows in one hot night! First, she's hanging out with kids of all ages at the Bottom Lounge for Secondhand Serenade. Then she's popping over the Elbo Room for a nice serving of Pork'n Beans (actual band name).
Inside the Bottom Lounge, it was a crowded teen scene as bands Runner Runner and White Tie Affair rocked the stage. Yet, SouthSide was impressed by the depth and warmth felt during Secondhand Serenade's headlining performance. Though not truly familiar with this band's music, this reviewer enjoyed how the music stayed within the middle of the pop/alertnative spectrum despite its setup on stage. With three guitars and double keyboards, Secondhand could have gone either hardcore/electronica or overly bubble gum pop/rock. In SouthSide's opinion, it would have definitely changed the dynamic of the band and the emotion heard in John's voice ...losing that uplifting feel to Secondhand's sound behind the lyrics. Performing songs like Stay Away(off the new CD - hear me now), this band wowed its diehard fans with dramatic intros (just enough to get everyone excited for the song) to explosive pauses which gave its music the emphasis needed to make the entire song pop with life. No matter the style or tempo of Secondhand's songs, there's plenty of continuous energy and momentum to be found from beginning to end. What SouthSide liked most about this performance was the solo acoustic set perfectly situated midway through the show. She considered this be the high point since thie was when you could clearly hear how powerful his vocals can get without the full band behind him. Not saying his voice isn't as dynamic while they're jamming on stage with him ...this reviewer preferred listening to the raw talent of his amazing falsettos as he sang. She enjoyed how simplistic ...heartfelt and emotionally personal lyrics were off the two songs during this moment. It was the way while performing on the piano during the encore after the show. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Secondhand Serenade while this band's burning up the stage and airwaves before heading back to class. Currently on tour promoting the new CD - hear me now, visit www.secondhandserenade.com or www.myspace.com/secondhandserenade for all of the when and where this band will be next.
Meanwhile at the Elbo Room, SouthSide arrived in time for her yummy serving of Pork'n Beans and their headlining performance. Though not the band rockin' the stage, there was still plenty of vibrant semi-acoustic/alternative sound to impress this reviewer. What she liked about this local band was the continuous flow of emotionally charged music which helped the vocals do some powerful venting within the lyrics. For example, Pork performed a song not normally done with bassist Shanna in which highlighted the angst/frustration found in Shane's deep raspy voice. Even the music and tempo was in sync with the tone of the song that SouthSide thought he was going to break a couple of strings the way the guitar was played. Another fine example featured Drew (on percussion) on vocals during a song that had a tempo with something more of a livelier acoustic vibe with a poppy feel. This rockin' instrumental jam (done mostly in lyrical jazz scat) had this audience feeling the fun beat and rhythms of Pork's new song. Despite having a good performance at the Elbo Room, this band had to re-arrange their standard playlist to accommodate life without their bassist on stage. The guys did a very good job pulling off a solid show for the late Sunday night audience. Yet some songs did require a female's touch on vocals to balance out that aggression heard from Shane. Closing out the show with the song, Down, SouthSide highly recommends getting your own serving of Pork'n Beans - this band, though only at 2/3 strength for this review, definitely had a rockin' kosher mix of acoustic/alternative with other genres to add a bit of flavor into their music. Visit www.myspace.com/porknbeanslive for all of the when and where this band will be back on stage again.
Until next time, support your local scene,