It’s crazy what can change in a day. From a sold-out show at The Turf Club on Friday night were the only people wearing masks were the staff to a sold-out show at The Fine Line where nearly 70% of the audience was masked up. I’ll be honest, it was anxiety-inducing. Not the actual mask-wearing but more just knowing what it meant and my fear that I was going to lose my life again rising in my gut. Thankfully, that anxiety didn’t last long and, as soon as the show started, it was like business as usual, only with a mask on.
Dad Bod got things started at the sold-out Saturday night show. Although the calmest band on the line-up, I found myself lost in their hazy dream world and loving every second of it. Dad Bod was honestly the perfect band to ease people into the rest of what was to come through the line-up. That being said, I find myself struggling to find the right words to describe their set. It wasn’t quite sweet and innocent but it was robust and tender. Dad Bod signed with No Sleep Records earlier this year (that’s the big leagues if you didn’t know) and I expect huge things soon for this amazing local act.
Following Dad Bod was Bugsy. Just like Dad Bod, this is a local group of youngsters that I had never heard of before but instantly fell in love with. Their emo-drenched energy-fueled grunge sound was absolutely what the audience wanted and it started to get people moving around a bit. My words will never do the vocalist of this band justice. At times the vocals were dreamy and, at other times, full of angst. Regardless of the vibe, the vocals were giving off, there was an unrelenting sense of power and command that came from behind the microphone. It was as if this band was challenging you to look away from them and not pay attention but I honestly doubt that was possible. Before wrapping up their set, Bugsy treated the audience to a bug factoid (get it? Bugsy- bugs- see what they did there?). Did you know that the bigger the claws on a scorpion means the less venomous? Okay, they admitted that scorpions weren’t really bugs but still, what a cute little signature from a band that I’m sure we will all be seeing and hearing more from soon.
What happened after Bugsy had me absolutely floored in all of the right ways. I have only seen VIAL one other time and, although impressed by them, they didn’t blow me away. That changed last night. Holy cow this band absolutely killed it and ran away with the Saturday night show. Although not the headliners of the night, Saturday night’s Fine Line show was a CD release show for their new album ‘Loudmouth’ (stop everything and buy it or at least stream it– seriously). Ranging from a four-piece to a six-piece (there were a few members/guests that would pop up for a song and two before popping back down into the sweaty mess of a crowd), there was absolutely no stopping this band. Their almost bratty punk sound and energy were infectious. Think 1 piece preppy, 2 pieces punk-y, and chock-full of energy– seriously, I couldn’t help myself but start texting everyone I know to stop everything and check this band out.
My words will never do VIAL’s sound and stage presence justice but bear with me while I continue to try. They have a very IDGAF (that’s “I don’t give a fuck” for you older people– also, for the youths, is that even a phrase you use anymore?) attitude while being extremely conscious. Whereas Bugsy suggested people grab a free mask from their merch table, VIAL told people they should be wearing a mask. They also took the time to introduce the band along with the proper pronouns that the member goes by. The phrase “and don’t misgender them/her/him” came after every intro and I really loved that. This band doesn’t care what you do, who you are, what you wear– they just care that you are a nice and conscious person. This band has grown so much since the last time I saw them at Mortimer’s and the sky is truly the limit for this young band. Mark my words, VIAL is taking over the world and they will absolutely be on a major tour in no time. Honestly, Saturday night may have been one of your last chances to catch this band in a more intimate space and, although that breaks my heart, it makes me so stoked for them! VIAL deserves the world and they are going to get it!
Following VIAL’s explosive and amazing set had to have been a daunting task but Gully Boys were closing out the night and, if anyone was going to be able to do it, it was going to be them. This trio was really hitting their stride right before the world shut down so I was excited if they were somehow able to keep up the momentum over the past year and a half. My doubts were dispelled quickly. It felt like no time had passed, they still brought the energy that made them the “It” band of the local music scene. Although not as aggressive and in your face as VIAL, they absolutely held their own in this strong line-up and closed out the night perfectly. The audience ate up their signature 90’s grunge rock sound and, although the moshing had slowed from the sweaty mess that happened during VIAL’s set, the entire audience was completely entranced by Gully Boys as they closed out the night.
I’ve had a lot of shows this week (and still have one more tonight) but I think Saturday’s show may have been the best one yet. There wasn’t a bad band on that stage and it was so nice to see a full room of people dancing and moving around with smiles in their eyes.