Monday, June 20, 2011

17 Jun 11

Welcome to one hot rockin' weekend, blogspot readers, with SouthSide! Join her on many travels around town for the next three days for fun, good company and of course - music! Whew, what an adventure you'll have as she covers what's rockin' the local scene from a peaceful outdoor fest to a rooftop house party (and she literally means roof top, too!) and everything else in between at Elbo Room and Double Door. Tonight, she kicked off the LONG weekend of fun (and little sleep) at Elbo Room to see local artist Michael Laechel (featuring good friend Justin Lane) and rockers Black Bridge on stage.

Though missing a part of their set, SouthSide was still able to enjoy this dynamic duo's acoustic performance that featured two unique vocal styles amidst a lively yet upbeat acoustic tempo. Singer/songwriter Michael Laechel with special guest Justin Lane graced their presence on the Elbo Room stage with a lively mix of songs in which some were performed by Justin. SouthSide enjoyed how both artists though completely different vocal-wise complimented each other during certain songs. Michael exhibted more of an emotionally charged vocal range in which the lyrics popped much sentimental fervor while on the other hand Justin took on more of romantic troubadour-style within his deep falsetto voice especially during the song Loving Waters in which this reviewer certainly felt the love off the lyrics. There was one particular song that had SouthSide feeling the emotions from Michael (sorry didn't catch the song title in time)while performing under a downtempo rhythmic feel as Justin played quietly in the background. What she enjoyed most about this song was how the artist "slowed" things down so the audience could musically soak themselves into the riffs during the instrumental bridge. Yet this performance also featured a "crazy" side to this singer/songwriter too, blogspot readers. She highly suggests checking out the song, I Really Don't Think You Care if you want to hear some super-charged emotional angst and frustration melting the microphone as well as off the guitar riffs that vibrantly matched his vocals though wanting more anger being pumped into the lyrics at the chorus. In her opinion, she felt he was holding back a little. Also recommends for listening - Welcome to Planet What The Fuck and Mud ...and if you truly want more of Michael's vocal frustration style try listening to Leave Me Be and I'm A Jerk. For more information about Michael Laechel, visit him at or

These local rockers combined the intensity of the standard rock-n-roll sound with a bit of blues, R&B (from the organ) and lots of soul. That's how SouthSide would accurately describe Black Bridge's rockin' Elbo Room performance, blogspot readers, that featured vibrantly sounding music. It definitely created one hot vibe throughout for the fans. Yet what really caught her immediate attention was front man/guitarist Sean and the way he used his low but rapsy falsetto voice to pump some raw emotionally charged vocals which continuously popped the words to life when opening with Fortune and Fame (track 5 off Black's Lucky 7 CD). Two other fine examples of his unique style include The One (track 4) where Sean's voice was soulfully heartfelt amidst the soft organ rhythms playing in the background which almost gave this particular song an R&B/gospel tone; meanwhile in Doesn't Matter, his voice went a little deeper yet was more emotionally dynamic that SouthSide literally felt the sentiments dripping from the words especially while singing "...doesn't matter anyway...". Besides being enthralled by the vocals, she also liked Black's unique rock sound which offered a variety of genres wonderfully mixed within their songs. For instance, during Take What You Need, she enjoyed how the organ had more a soulfully vivid presence amongst the three guitars while in a downtempo melodic rhythm while on the other hand, This Place of Mine, Black rocked the stage with a lively sound combining acoustic/R&B/rock ...the organ did also play an important role bringing out the (heart and) melodically soul of its rhythms in this particular song. SouthSide did notice one other unique thing about Black Bridge - there's no long instrumental bridges during certain songs. The brief breaks between chorus and verse was just enough to spotlight the rockin' music and Sean's vocals without oversaturating the ears. Other songs recommended for listening would be their country/western sound in Deserted, the rockin' upbeat alternative sound Picking Up the Pieces and Screaming Night Hog Life. For more information about Black Bridge, visit or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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