Show Pics: Night Drive Release Party @ Cheer Up (6/16)

We are in the throws of the longest days of the year and while it will get a bit hotter, it won’t get much hotter that last Friday. The hotness was overcome.

Night Drive threw a party at Cheer Up Charlies and we were all invited as long as you contributed $5 at the door. Isn’t that nice. Four bands, a DJ that popped jams, so many friends and even some family. Attendees got to see Keeper, Orthy, Night Drive (duh) and Single Lash with Lambda spinning jams in between.

If you click through, you will be rewarded with many images. You will be able to read more words. Thanks.

It was really hot. Stay hydrated. I was working in Topo Chicos and cups of water between beverages. Redbud Berliner was a perfect crisp and light beer for the festivities.

Lambda worked off the card table, seated comfortably, loading tracks from USB sticks into the min-wheels of steel, erm plastic. Subtle tweaks and loops in live playback along with tracking the tone of the artists ahead showed why having a human playing music is of great value. Modern soul and R&B dance hits led into Keeper, with more modern dance pop and bangers for Orthy and Night Drive. Recommended for your next event, cuz DJ Mel is too big for any of us to afford. Heh.

Keeper worked their tri-vocal layering in every permutation of voice. Harmonies collided with melodies as voices would walk in and out of tracks effortlessly, working together or in contrast to lull or highlight. Their set is solid and draws from much of what Austin is getting better at. Vocal talent is shooting upwards and BoomBaptist on the synth pad typifies the electronic competence for production and creation. Excellent tune up, though out of the ATH wheelhouse.

Orthy was next. Ian, bandleader and namesake(y), is in the throws of working for Sound on Sound Fest. To take playing a set of several new songs during the stress factory of launching a festival’s second year lineup and ticketing. The new material continues the slide from lofty bedroom pop to full on groove oriented jams that build and prompt full on head down dance sessions. The team was a bit sketchy to start, missing tune on the bass and getting squared up between all elements, but the crowd’s patience well-rewarded with a strong finish and new takes on the older material. Looking forward.

Night Drive. Just go listen to the record. We friends and photogs up front had an amazing time. Our friend from Young Girls/French Kids, Nicholas Dudek, jumped in on drums and did a great job given it was the second show and that Night Drive goes analog up there, meaning no click track. Rodney seemed to push his vocal a bit, a touch more rasp and strength. The venue was packed, one in/one out, so perhaps he was feeding off that energy. Pretty drastic difference form the last time I saw them out at MotoGP when we were all by ourselves. Redemption is sweet.

Finally, apologies to Single Lash. This kid was beat and spent and went home. See y’all ASAP.


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