To me, The Earl seems like home. It's the kind of place I go
during the week when I want a quick meal or a drink. And on
the weekend, it's not unusual for me to end up there, watching
any number of local bands. I don't really ever plan to end up
there so much…it just happens. I guess it's cause I'm comfortable
there. And this concert was pretty much a usual evening at The
Earl: bands I've seen before, bands I've never heard of, a decent
crowd, and a low-key atmosphere.
When the minions and I got to The Earl, the first band was
in the middle of their set. I don't think the guy introduced
himself at any point, but I was able to glean from his marketing
material that the main singer-songwriter was Dodd Ferrelle.
His music sounded something of an odd note for the evening;
the songs didn't rock that hard. Instead he played this roots
rock-country that reminded me more of Steve Earle, or a somewhat
less charismatic John
Doe. It was good, I suppose, if you like that type of music.
But considering that I was expecting the power punk of Sharks
And Minnows followed by the straight-up rock of The Young Antiques,
I just wasn't that impressed.
The next band, Atlanta's Sharks And Minnows, are one of those
act I've seen several times over the last year. And each time
I've seen growth and cohesion in their sound; this concert was
no exception. Much like the
last time I saw them, they sounded remarkably good, although
I'd suggest that their overall sound on this particular evening
was more "indie" than their usual "emo." Either way, they have
an underlying punk flavor, which is reflected in their musical
energy as well as their angular chords, intense drumming, and
good singing. Essentially I only had two complaints about their
- they didn't do the obligatory cheesy cover song (they had
performed Def Leppard the last time I saw them)
- the bassist didn't bounce enough to the music.
The issues are exceedingly minor and petty, I know, which is
a sign of what a good and solid band Sharks And Minnows has
become over the last year .
Finally, we had the headliner: The Young Antiques. In the past
I've fluctuated in my opinion of this band: sometimes their
live shows have been underwhelming, however at other times they've
put on great concerts. Sometimes they sound so derivative that
I can't get past the comparison; then there are other points
at which they sheer catchiness and competence of the music gets
to me, and I just stand there, enjoying a good rock n' roll
show. Either way, I figure they're worth seeing again.
On this evening, in particular, The Young Antiques forged a
middle ground between the two extremes I've described above.
Yeah, their music still reminded me more of the Replacements
than perhaps it should. And yeah their backing band seemed a
little busy, distracting me from the melody and lyrics of the
songs. And sometimes they played slower songs, which deadened
the overall show and seemed to lose the attention of the crowd.
However, the songs were in general catchy little rock tunes
with an Elvis Costello overtone. And overall the band was having
a blast, seemingly enjoying the process of making music and
performing. So it was good show from them and proved that The
Young Antiques are really Atlanta's epitome of a bar band: good,
enjoyable rock songs for a Friday night audience to stand around
and drink and dance like idiots. All in all, it was the culmination
of a good show in a comfortable environment, and the perfect
low-key way to end a working week.