I always feel that small venues are the best places to see local shows, only because everything is so intimate and relaxed, and you’re not fighting your way through throngs of drunk people just to catch a five-second glimpse of your favorite band before someone in the moshpit pushes you out of the way.
With that in mind, I really enjoyed going to see some local talent at Darkroom Thursday night because this tiny club — I would’ve walked right past it if it hadn’t been for the red neon sign — was the perfect place to showcase the melodic and soulful sounds of the artists playing that night.
The first band up, The Benders, was talented. I personally have an affinity for any band fronted by a woman (or in The Benders’ case, two women). It was enjoyable to watch them play because they seem to have such contrasting stage personas, which complimented their vocals and playing.
Zapruder Point (a.k.a. Dan Zapruder Phillips) was the second to go on stage. And one of the first things I noticed was that he sounds just as great live as he does on his EP.
I have been to A LOT of shows for bands that completely mesmerized me on CD, but then let me down live. Zapruder Point didn’t have that problem. It’s clear Dan is extremely talented as a singer and musician, and he doesn’t need to rely on heavy studio production and album mixing to make him sound good.
What stood out to me the most, though, was that while other bands Thursday night engaged the audience in conversation and tried to keep them focused and pumped about the show, Dan really let the music speak for itself. He didn’t banter between every song — which is fine if a band chooses to do so — but seemed to be focused on his music over himself as an artist. I was extremely impressed.
I stayed for the beginning of Holyoke’s set, which was catchy and unique. I’m a huge fan of two-person, girl-guy bands (i.e. She & Him), so I thought they brought a fun dynamic to the show. I was not able to stay for Fort Wilson Riot — work in the AM can put a damper on late night shows — but from what I saw with the first three bands, I assume I would’ve enjoyed them quite a bit as well.
The highlight of the night for me, though, was watching Zapruder Point play. The minimalist vibe of his on-stage performance was such a refreshing change from the constant barrage of glitz and over-the-top stage shows that we’re assaulted with at many concerts nowadays.
If you haven’t managed to catch Zapruder Point live, I highly recommend it. I promise you won’t be let down.
- Check out my review of Zapruder Point’s EP, I Didn’t Want to Say Anything.