Sure it’s fun to cover the big arena shows. 15,000 cheering fans, big lights, and often bigger productions. But that’s not where the heart of the music scene is. To me it’s the countless artists working hard on new music and playing the small venues. Often spending years and tons of effort on their albums driven by their love of music. As you can imagine we get pitched a lot of shows. We are always happy to help promote but often we just don’t have the staff available to cover all the shows we like.
But tonight schedules worked out and I found myself once again at the Icehouse checking out two local artists new to me and one favorite from the past I had forgotten about
Margaret was up first. I was a fan of Lookbook and their songs still get turned up when they come up on my playlist. My favorite part were Maggie Morrison vocals. Her range and ability to change tone and pitch quickly is amazing. Even after years of losing track of her, she’s still got it in spades. Now a duo with Drew (but still called Margaret). Their sound is electro pop ranging from minimalist instrumentation to complex synth layers supporting Margaret’s voice.
Deep Love brought a change in style. Vocals blended into deeper electronic layers. The duo between them worked 2 keyboards, 2 drum pads, guitar and bass guitar between them. Singer Jacob Gossel announced a new song, never played live (I did not catch the title). At the end of the song, he asked it was worth playing again, which the crowd loudly approved. Deep Love’s set included a cover of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” infused the song with electronic.
While the duo is not going away, they may be forced to change their name as a UK DJ has trademarked that name. Their last song “I’m Gone” was by far their most danceable number.
The last performer of the night was The Trappistines who took to the stage in a cloud of smoke and ground mounted LEDs dimming most of the house lights. Their sound blends neo soul vocals with jazz, electronics, and trip-hop. Even though it was after midnight on a weekday their lively music energized the Icehouse.
All said, I for one would trade an arena show for a Wednesday night at smaller local venue any day