Show Review: WRVU Benefit 11/19/09 @ The End


The folks came out early for this one, which was somewhat mislabeled as a "benefit" for WRVU…The bands all got paid and so did the club, so while donations were being accepted this was indeed much more of a regular show, just with an extremely eccentric lineup. The Vermicious K’Nids started things out, and their well honed, key-driven power pop got the whole room quite excited right off the bat. There’s no doubt the VK’s are somewhat inspired by the sounds of The Killers/Bravery and their ilk, but there’s a much more honest and less pretentious delivery that, combined with a bombastic, frenetic live show and undeniable songcraft, make their take on the genre worthwhile. Make sure to catch their cd release Dec. 5th @ the 5 Spot with a newly re-formed De Novo Dahl.

After some feel-good jams from DJ Orig, Powerbrrrd came next with a blistering set of straightforward honest-to-goodness trashy punk rock that was delivered with brazen displays of equal parts egotism and humor, and it all blended into an extremely fun set. Not modest about their roots (ranging from "Montreal, Canada" to "Phoenix, AZ" depending on when you listened), local guys-you-see-everywhere Seth Graves, Brandon Jazz, and Steve Cross played with no sense of restraint and were a pure display of no-frills, sloppy rock n roll. Following the Brrd was Westfolk(formerly Oscar Anthony and the Westfolk Band), who began and ended with a solid groove that held up their furious inter-twining of genres, from bluesy/soulful croons to 70’s rock-n-roll decadence guitar solos to jangly folk rhythms. Westfolk proved they were a band that can have quite a bit more than necessary happening on stage but still compress it all into jams that make sense and make the people move. Unlike a lot of their contemporaries, these guys play material that is not only musically relevant and a display of greater things to come, but the focus on songwriting is quite evident as well. The crowd had a superb sense of camaraderie throughout the evening, but Westfolk really brought the dancing to the table.

Closing the night out was Cheer Up Charlie Daniels who was also celebrating a vinyl release. They brought to the table solid harmonies and catchy sing-alongs, and everyone on stage made it a point to get across the fun they were having during the set. The crowd was definitely comprised mostly of friends who drunkenly cheered every aspect of the performance, and the guys cranked through their entire new albums worth of country-friendly pop rock and then some. When the clock struck 130 everyone was pretty ready to go sleep, many of them likely to have class the next morning, but the show was successful (despite an attempted boycott, more on that later) and both crowd and bands seemingly went home happy. – Jesse Baker