Humpday came and went, but the Elbo Room was full of great music Wednesday as people enjoyed a mild winter night in the Mission District with The Ferocious Few, MonBon, and Can’t Find a Villain. The Ferocious Few played an early set, demonstrating in the process why these guys are consistently one of the most impressive bands on the local circuit. They seem to be moving in a more bluesy direction as of late, letting Francisco’s vocal talents and Daniel’s amazing drum skills take a more prominent role. With stage presence and songwriting firing on all cylinders, I expect that they’ll make an impact at South by Southwest in March.
The Ferocious Few – New Song (Live at the Elbo Room, 1/6)
Fans of Cat Power would do well to take heed of young songstress MonBon. This girl is a diamond in the rough, whose stripped down delivery lets it all hang out. While she is still a very new talent (she doesn’t even have a MySpace page), her set of covers and originals showcased a unique sense of style and delivery. MonBon’s powerful voice and guitar work only lapsed briefly as she played a few songs that seemed new to her. On the set’s standout, a cover of “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra, none of that seemed to matter, as she held the audience at a standstill with her stellar reinterpretation of the classic song.
In a haze of breakbeats and confusion, Can’t Find a Villain took the stage like a trio of marauders. Plainly stating up front that they were drunk as hell and looking to have a good time, the band launched into a set quickly marred by a few missteps in delivery. Not ones to let something as trivial as a forgotten cue get in their way, the band got right back on it and had the crowd along with them. It’s refreshing to see a hip-hop act work with live instrumentation instead of just a DJ; it seems to lend an element of uncertainty to the exacting nature of each song.
Every member of CFAV seems to have their own role to play. Of Nazareth loves to play with the audience between songs, often eliciting a call and response from the crowd, while Tar One and Jus Words weave in and out of the limelight with their own styles of delivery. All three together make the band something greater than the sum of its parts. While it might not have been one of their best nights from a performance standpoint, songs like “Thieves of the Brain” and “Trust Fund” had the whole place jumping.