Violent Femmes at The Mountain Winery, by Ria BurmanViolent Femmes (photo: Ria Burman)

Ava Mendoza supported Echo and the Bunnymen and the Violent Femmes Sunday night at the Mountain Winery with some sweet-obscure strum and shreds. Echo and the Bunnymen played songs from their new album, while mixing in classics between cheeky banter, before the Violent Femmes blew the doors off with astounding musical versatility and fresh-flowing energy.

Exploding onto the stage, the Femmes played a classic pretty early on, which got the crowd to their feet in a mammoth wave of happy. After which, nothing really settled down, Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads was invited to come and play the xylophone with sweet comic timing. Ava Mendoza was welcome back to guitar wail, a conch shell made a euphoric appearance. Each musician enjoyed solo sets entwined throughout songs, with killer brass and percussion happenings, jaw-dropping bass finger play and jig-happy banjo get ups. The audience sang righteously and sat quietly for the bittersweets. The show was rich in musical variety and mastery. A must-see live band.

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