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  THE YOUNG ANTIQUES w/ Sharks And Minnows and Dodd Ferrelle and the Tinfoil Stars  
  The Earl  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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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 performance:

  1. they didn't do the obligatory cheesy cover song (they had performed Def Leppard the last time I saw them)
  2. 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.

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