Hecklers, jokes for beer, a battle of the bands: yep, it’s Shindig. The night started off strong with the finely-honed indie rock of Blank Cinema. The band played to a packed house ready to party on the holiday and didn’t disappoint. With a set of songs so polished you could see (and hear) their sheen, Blank Cinema’s music was undeniably fun, feel-good, accessible and audience-pleasing. This is one Radio 3 recognized band to watch out for.
Next came the metal stylings of Hidden Tower. The group played some epically lengthy instrumental tracks that displayed their technical prowess. It was this prowess that won over the night’s judges, but it didn’t quite win over a thinning audience, who, on a Tuesday night before a holiday, were more ready to party to straightforward pop. Still, the band managed to gain some audience applause when they announced that their track “Great Conjunction” was inspired by the Jim Henson favourite The Dark Crystal. A sign of success for the set was spotted as devil horns confidently adorned the air.
After an interminable sound check, Machu Picchu finally took to the stage with one very impressive set. The band delivered a noisy slab of rock punctuated by solid melodies and a perfectly pop core. With a hefty dose of reverb and poignant use of buzzsaw guitars, the group played to everything that’s right in independent pop music today. Though not the winners of this night’s competition, Machu Picchu undeniably won over members of the audience. After their set, a member of the band asked, “Ain’t it nice to be wasted on a Tuesday night?” With the talent seen this Tuesday, the answer was assuredly yes.