Photos by: Nicole L. Browner
Red and blue lights sparsely illuminated the stage at Brick and Mortar Music Hall for the duration of Monday night’s stacked lineup, featuring No Joy, Heavy Hawaii, Wild Moth, and Burnt Palms. The crowd gradually filled in throughout the evening, providing a respectable, albeit tame turnout for the show.
Seaside trio Burnt Palms opened the show with a set of jangly beach rock to please the early-comers. Christina, blinded by the lights, thanked the small crowd for showing up early and admitted that she was unable to actually see how many people were watching. Punctual spectators were treated to an enjoyable set, despite the fact that Christina’s guitar amplifier experienced a jarring hiccup about halfway through. Technical difficulties aside, the young band wrapped things up nicely with strong contributions from drummer Clara Enkel and bassist Brian Dela Cruz.
San Francisco post-punk band Wild Moth hit the stage next, following up from last month’s record release show at Thee Parkside in support of their debut full length LP, Over, Again (which premiered back in August). These guys certainly know how to balance an accessible pop melody with an intense undercurrent of maturely calculated youthful angst. With vocal duties shared between Austin Montanari (guitar) and Carlos Salas (bass), the foursome held their own through their biting, vibe-worthy set of new material. An old sci-fi movie was projected in the background, offering a new visual element to Wild Moth’s stage dynamic.
San Diego psych-pop outfit Heavy Hawaii brought five members on stage and performed cuts from their Goosebumps LP, released earlier this year. I’m not sure whether it was the dull blue lighting, the beer I was drinking, or the fact that the frontman seemed to have trouble getting his guitar to sound right, but somehow I couldn’t help from zoning out through most of their stoney set. However, the band did bring a distinct vibe to the stage by adding a synth player.
Montreal’s No Joy filled the headlining slot with songs from their latest album Wait to Pleasure, plus rare cuts from 2010’s Ghost Blonde debut such as “You Girls Smoke Cigarettes?”. Both records are out on Mexican Summer.
Principal songwriter-guitarists Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd were joined on stage by two male musicians, a drummer and a bass player. The band relied heavily on foot pedals in an effort to recreate the dreamy, shoegaze sound of their albums, with White-Gluz taking on one hundred percent of the vocals. She often harmonized with herself through vocal delays, most apparent on the aforementioned track. Lloyd’s long pink-and-blonde hair obscured her face through most of the set, a look we have come to expect. It’s no secret that No Joy typically sound a bit stronger on record, so the performance was far from disappointing. The band closed with Pleasure opener “E”, bringing an end to a set of pleasing, if not immediately striking guitar tunes. Not too bad for a Monday night.