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Gig review: Checkered Past/ReLion + more@Starline 1/12/13
It's usually a bad sign when you're setting up your gear and the sound guy starts pulling the mics because he thought he was done for the night. Or, when the manager of the place asks if you'd still like to play because, normally, all bands are done by 1 a.m. and that was like 10 minutes ago.
"Of course" you say.
I mean, there's a group of four or so at the foot of the stage and a few more scattered throughout the venue and everyone seems eager enough. Plus, that's why you're here.
So, you cut your set by four songs and still manage to get in 12 and have everything wrapped up and done by 1:30 a.m. and sell some merchandise of the way out. That's a successful night.
Streetlamp Junkie: Bluegrass-ish folk band from Visalia. They had a banjo player and a drummer who played a cajon, which visibly confused some people. They had a few Blue Traveler momements (minus the harmonica), which I liked (being a Blues Traveler fan).
2 Hours Later: Also from Visalia. I'd call them a Drop D band. I am not actually sure if they played in drop D or not, but it's the sort of mid-tempo hard rock I associated with the alternative tuning (thick-crunch guitar, double kick drum). The singer goes the melodic route (as opposed to the death growl). Particularly liked a song called "Scream."
ReLion: A six- (or seven-, I forget) piece reggae band from Coalinga. I'll make the quick comparision to Sublime, because it's the easiest (if not most accurate) point of reference. This is party-style dance-rock designed to get you feeling good about life. Positive vibes, yep. ReLion seems to be on all the reggae-show fliers and have been interested in seeing them for awhile. I don't often make it out to straight-ahead reggae shows, so this was a happy coincidence.
Checkered Past: This band does the kind of third-wave punk/ska/rock/reggae/whatever mashup that was super popular in the late '90s. They remind me of bands I saw during that time (minus a horn section, I guess), without sounding dated. They just finished recording an E.p. ("Bag of Tricks") that will be released Feb. 9.
Our set: See first paragraph.
Note: Story image yanked from Matt Napoletano with gratitude.