The audience at this show was on the more subdued side. Pockets of couples and friends, all geeks with big hearts who like cool music had gathered under the same roof in the name of cool music. There were many drinks imbibed and surely some other unmentionables as well, leading to stumbling flirtations and friendly face-slap showdowns. There were cute young people dancing awkwardly to the music, including a girl whose legs resembled long fresh mints. And yes, there was cool music. Cool music like Shane Turner Overdrive who started things off playing some light-hearted folky power-pop to a smattering of an audience, some who listened and a lot who didn’t. But he plugged on and came out looking good. In Medias Res stormed the stage next and made my night as they laid into some heavy-handed walls of guitar feedback, filling it up with rhythm and creating a monster that was dramatic, forceful and intricately layered.
Now, I’m well aware of the chatter and buzz Carey Mercer and his wild Frog Eyes have created over the years. I’m aware of the high regard in which this man is held among some music loving circles, which is why I chose to take on this show. I entered into it open-minded; secretly hoping the stories were true and that I’d get swept away on the weird mythic wings and arcane ramblings of a madman with a guitar. In the end I remained on earth and life was not altered. But to be fair, Mercer was sick. He did his very best and judging by the awkward jumping and dancing the kids like to do these days Frog Eyes certainly delivered. With songs ranging from all points in time they gave it their all and largely impressed. I might not be entirely sold, but for getting up and slogging through it, voice half shot and energy lowered, I pay my respect to the madman with a guitar.