with The RX Bandits, and Zechs Marquise
July 22, 2009
Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
For a region with acts such as The Vans Warped Tour, the bill for The Culture Room on July 22 could possibly have been the best show to come to South Florida in a while.
To start off the show, Zechs Marquise surprised me with their psychedelic and experimental palate of rock fusion. Their show was a display of impressive rhythms which allowed the band to lead the music down different paths that always wound up in the right place. The band was a perfect introduction to the two proceeding bands, yet Zechs Marquise still held its own and couldn’t be overlooked or missed as most opening acts unfortunately are.
Next was Dredg, who started with the powerful “Pariah,” which enraptured the crowd’s full attention immediately. The band members took their places, and the audience rocked along to the powerful breakdowns of the guitar before each verse. The progressive layers of each song was masterfully entwined by different elements—lead singer Gavin Hayes would add depth to a song by supplying a run down the slide guitar or by taking his hands to a guitar, and bassist Drew Roulette would cast chords over a synthesizer to bring together a quilt of different sounds.
They pick their songs perfectly and never take time to breath between each one—giving the audience a continuous experience of great music. They are able to make their performance unravel before you in such a way that you will no longer want to seek any other form of “reality programming.”
At one point of the show, Hayes drummed on the slide guitar with sticks—to just name one example of Dredg’s willingness to go beyond the already manufactured sound that so many bands nowadays possess. They don’t merely duplicate the song from their album; they add to it with each performance.
The best moment of the night for me was when Dredg was winding down their show with the song “Cartoon Showroom” from the most recent album, The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion. They pick their songs perfectly and never take time to breath between each one—giving the audience a continuous experience of great music. They are able to make their performance unravel before you in such a way that you will no longer want to seek any other form of “reality programming.” Their music only inspired me to work on my own craft, and any band that can do that I must remove my hat and take a bow to.
The RX Bandits were next and gave the perfect melodies to round off the night. The lyrics sung by vocalist and guitarist Matt Embree not only excited my feet but also activated my mind in a number of ways. I couldn’t predict the next turn of phrase or melody, which I find is a necessity for original music to truly be original.
Crowds across the nation will have a chance to enjoy this bill over the remaining summer months. After travelling up the Eastern seaboard, the show is to go as far north as Canada, across the Midwest, and round up in late September on the West Coast. If your town is lucky enough to lie along the tour’s tracks, you best get yourself a ticket.
Were you there? MySpace Us!
Review by Kevin P. Nelson
Photos by Liana Minassian