Sunday, August 12, 2007

CD101 SummerFest Featuring Silversun Pickups, VHS or Beta, The Cliks & Seawolf

The weather was perfect for the CD101 SummerFest yesterday at The LC. For me, the alternative music lineup was highlighted by VHS or Beta and (surprisingly) The Cliks.

I didn't expect to like The Cliks. Sure, their radio hit "Oh, yeah" is a good song, but nothing to necessarily write a blog entry about. However, I met the band earlier in the day when they did a somewhat acoustic set in the CD101 Big Room. Lead singer Lucas was not only really nice (and had plenty of good things to say about our fair city), but his voice was really amazing. It has a clarity that demands your attention and a flow that he attaches so well to the music that you can't imagine the two apart. Now a transgender, Lucas still sounds very much like the Lillia of days past, with an angry-woman edge that at the same time transcends the cliche. Although not all of their songs are great -- and I have yet to hear all of the songs from their latest CD -- their live show allowed you to overlook that, with their unending energy and keen musicianship. If you like The Cliks, be sure to catch them live -- you won't be disappointed.

But I was primarily at SummerFest to get a chance to see VHS or Beta and hear some new tunes from their upcoming CD Bring on the Comets (out August 28). I was a big fan of Night On Fire when it was released back in 2004, impressed with how they so effortlessly mixed electronica, rock, and pop into a distinctly alternative sound.

The band's sound was a bit off during their SummerFest set -- they seemed to have some minor technical difficulties -- but they overcame that and put on a good show. They're not the most lively band in the world. No wild antics or overexpended energy. But what the band lacked, the crowd made up for. Dancing during nearly the entire set, the audience was definitely into the new sound and the new songs of VHS or Beta. If this was any indication, their newest CD may well be a breakout seller.

I didn't get a chance to see Seawolf or Silversun Pickups at the show, but that's okay -- I had the opportunity to catch them in the Big Room earlier in the day.

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