I was not the least bit familiar with Old Bridge, New Jersey's The Luna Laval and twenty minutes after they had taken the stage, I still wasn't absolutely sure if what I was witnessing was a prolonged sound check or the bands actual set. To be perfectly honest, if it turned out that sound check happened to be their set, I would have been just as impressed. The band played a a complex musical style that somehow escapes a lot of the trappings of genre addicted listeners. A trait that can both open and close doors for a lot of bands, depending on the listener. As I stood there I found myself somewhat mesmerized by Tom Risi's tasty Bass play and overall movement.
Though the bass has become my most appreciated instrument in recent years.
I find most of my favorite players are too often, stationary musicians who blend into the background, rather than the forefront. Risi's movement and presence reminded me fondly of Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters,
Sunny Day Real Estate. Brotherhood.) Considering they were the shows opening band and it was my first time seeing them. They left a lasting impression on me. Definitely a band I'd like to see and hear more from. The Luna Laval
The time in between bands can often be long and socially awkward for me. But just as the stage remained empty. There was music and a sense of community happening on the floor thanks to the warm sounds of John Bentonamo's ukalele playing. Talk about a spirited individual. At the moment I didn't want to upset the intimacy of the small gathering by stepping in. Instead, I decided to loom close enough to take in all the mirth and celebration while not disturbing any tribal rituals that might be occurring.
The Harrison Four
"Distance to Decay".
The five song EP has been getting a lot of play here at the UBRS headquarters.
The chance to catch them live seemed like a no brainer.
I came to this show with high expectations for this band. To say they raised the bar would be the understatement of the early year. The bands energy level and musical proficiency immediately ignited the crowd and gave me the little extra boost I needed to get through the late hour and the drive home that followed. The band has a new record due out this spring. It would be wise to keep your eyes and ears on the look out. Ola Madrid
For someone who was about to leave before the show had even started, this turned out to be the best and most eclectic show in recent memory. See you all next time.