“...Welcome to Moe’s Bar ...and there’s a real Moe...” ~ Ric
Hey, blogspot readers, there’s a real Moe’s Bar and you don’t have to drive to Springfield to find it! Right here in the Avondale neighborhood, Moe’s Bar is a friendly place to play pool or darts ...watch sports or listen to live local music during the week. What’s really cool about this dive bar that it has its own doggy mascot named Alexis or Lexi which roams freely (sometimes politely barking) inside the establishment. She’s quite friendly ...once she gets to know you, blogspot readers. Oh, if you get the yummy aroma of homemade Mexican style cooking floating around the bar, it’s no mistake that one of the staff members made something very delicious to eat including warmed fresh tortillas and green salsa. On this particular night. SouthSide had the chance to hang out with some of the patrons and open mic musicians to rock with her new friends Sphynx , the trillest band from Austin, TX!
After their appearance at SXSW 2014 and currently on tour, this traveling trio of musicians were gracious enough to bring their highly intense electro/dance rock to town, blogspot readers. Yet, who or what is Sphynx all about? Well, this reviewer had the opportunity to chat with these lads cleverly nicknamed Cory “Can’t Stop” (synths/vocals), Aaron “Won’t Stop” (guitars/vocals) and Todd “Might Stop” (drums) who is also the wildcard of the band. So, ladies, watch out for him ...anything can happen. So how would Sphynx describe who they are in five words or less? Try twelve words with three words used twice. First it was “...exotic glam rock experience forever...” then it turned into “ ...exotic dance glam rock out...” before ending with “...rock outfit experience...” So far, blogspot readers, this was going to be a very fun as well as interesting interview with Sphynx. Why did they choose those set of particular words? Basically, they’re not three DJs on stage spinning synths/dance-heavy music that’s hitting the popular airwaves today. No, blogspot readers, this band performs like a synths/dance-heavy power trio with programmed tracks and live drums. Think of the performances as a raw rock show featuring a bit of “Magic Mike” i.e. stripping (minimal though to get you dancing), flashing and dazzling lights and funky, furry costumes.
Tonight, the guys told this reviewer to expect a “...high energy ...visual...” Sphynx show, blogspot readers. However, it was more than that. It was a literally a workout watching this trio work the stage with hair swinging, jumping, funky dance moves and more. “...we’re not guys standing on stage playing instruments...” after stating “...we create more of a fun dance party...” SouthSide had fun dancing to the electo glam mixed with intense rock that was energetic from beginning to end ...nonstop funky rhythms and poppy beats. It was, blogspot readers, a feast for the senses. Visually, Sphynx dazzled their Chicago audience with pulsating (sometimes flashing) lights that decorated the stage and instruments thus turning Moe’s Tavern into a nightclub amidst its lighting glow. Next, came the funky fashion to heighten everyone’s experience at this party. The guys were decked out in their (faux) furry jackets and skinniest pants almost giving Cory and Aaron a Freddy Mercury look while Todd in the back rocked the drums as hard as in his Phil Collins-like persona. Now, musically, it was amazing, blogspot readers. Song after song, Sphynx gave this audience (including SouthSide) an experience where electronic and rock harmoniously existed that they’ll probably never forget. Bursts of energy throughout ...flowing rhythmic vibes coupled with melodic beats and thunderous percussion ...computer wizardry to build that intense momentum to keep your body moving ...excitement all around which keeps the energy running high especially during songs like Hunger.
Yet, besides performing their originals off Human Beast album (this reviewer suggests listening track 1 – "Carpe Noctum" and track 4 – "Maneater Pt II"), Sphynx road tested a couple of new songs that might be on the band’s next album, blogspot readers. The first one had a slight upbeat rhythmic tempo yet bursting with energetic momentum when the electro beat called for it in between the computerized vocals. Meanwhile the second was the direct opposite with its downtempo feel though still having that sense of strong energetic bursts in the chorus. Sphynx wowed the audience with its renditions of Outkast’s “Mrs. Jackson” (flipping this R&B/soul song into a electronic dance remix), Asia’s “Heat Of The Moment” (who knew an 80s hair band classic could be jazzed up to have that pop/dance vibe) and Haddaway’s “What’s Love?” (a funky number that you can dance to its upbeat glam rock tempo), blogspot readers. Yet, don’t expect the same show happening in your town to be the same like Chicago’s. The guys do try to keep each show a bit fresh for the audience and fans wherever they roam. According to the band, with longer sets, they tend to test new material and/or change up their cover selections chosen for night’s performance just as done here tonight. And they do this by reading the crowd since its based on how and what they’re feeling from people inside the venue. So instead of the Asia cover, you just might hear their Hall & Oates’ cover “Rich Girl”.
So what is Austin’s music scene like beyond the annual SXSW festival? SouthSide was told there are “...a lot of great bands...” rockin’ the local stages that’s dominated by the folk/Americana scene. In their opinion, Austin’s “...a great place to be in band...” especially since it’s the place that “...shaped us as a band...” However, there’s a bit of a downside too, blogspot readers. With so many bands in town, dealing with clubs/promoters can get a bit competitive but keeping that sense of community amongst other bands. Plus, Sphynx likes the fact fans have an eclectic taste when it comes to music. Oh another things, blogspot readers, Todd would everyone to know that the food in Austin is good suggesting everyone try a breakfast taco. This band would definitely fit right in Chicago with its many taquerias like Flash Taco and Los Comales. Asking them about their appearance at this year’s SXSW, they said “...it was great ...best one yet...” though not officially a SXSW performing band. She was told that an official SXSW band couldn’t perform at night at the unofficial or unsanctioned SXSW parties which she didn’t know that. So this year, Sphynx opted to performed after 7p at parties where the crowds were which got them noticed. “...it was an insane experience...”
Lastly, Sphynx would like to part with these final words “...stay in touch with us...” because the band will have a new releases and album coming out soon as well as touring again in the fall. It looks to be a super busy year for the guys while trying to make Sphynx a fulltime gig, blogspot readers.
Good luck ...and come back to Chicago!
Until next time, support your local scene,