If I'm going to drive to Charlottesville to see a band I saw only a year ago, they had better be worth seeing.
And last night's electronica-tinged indie pop show by the Helio Sequence was just that.
There were some sound issues and guitarist/vocalist Brandon Summers looked a bit peeved about them, but since I'd never been to the Outback Lodge before, I don't know whether such problems are common there or not.
I love Summers' voice (and guitar playing) but it's drummer Benjamin Weikel that I can't take my eyes off.
This is one busy drummer; I think it's partly how much room he has to maneuver in musically and his sheer enthusiasm for playing.
Luckily, he always removes his cardigan before he starts playing (so as not to overheat probably) and the sweat starts flying.
The crowd was obnoxious, talking and socializing through much of the show, which was a shame considering the Helio Sequence's beautiful sound and superior lyric-writing.
"Can't Say No" is a spot-on indictment of today's culture:
consummate keepers of many left wondering
desolate dreamers with heads caught up in the sway
obstinate heeders of organized ignorance
making up rules for the mute and the willing
but all the kids that are raised in the freefall
and from the silence of a pacified strip mall
they pay the wage with the dollars of gravity
on their bedside, oh, my conscience calls to me
This is the second time I've seen this band with only 100 or fewer other people and it's such a treat to be only a few feet from major talent.
I almost hate to think about them getting any sort of mainstream recognition cause that will be the death knell for the kind of show I saw last night.
You know, the kind of show music lovers live for.