When you look up at the stage at Mike N Molly’s and it’s crowded with toys both musical and whimsical, you know it’s going to be a good show. Saturday’s set was an astounding bout of post-metal and rock influenced music. Admittedly I’m biased because instrumental jams are, well, my jam, yet I don’t know anyone who appreciates music that would have balked at that show.
Local band Pinko started off the show with a psychedelic brand of indie rock with an instrumental post-rock twist. This quartet, fronted by a gang of curly haired guitarists, swung between aggressive chaos and melodic tranquility, often blending the two together.
Next up was Staghorn and holy crap, I cannot overstate how awesome they were. Awash in lights dimmed down to a red glow, these masked and hooded musicians jumped straight to the top of my “when the hell does your album come out” list. Their set started with a slow and methodical instrumental build featuring eerie guitar overlaying heavy organ tones. Staghorn then segued flawlessly into heavy post metal featuring soaring guitars with thunderous bass and drums. Mixing these aspects of tension and release, their set conjured an image of black knights sounding the apocalypse and then chronicling a journey through dark shadows.
Somehow, the fun didn’t quite end there. Dibiase took the stage next. Having not seen them live in several years, I was very excited to catch them again. Despite using only two instruments, this duo’s style is not lacking in heaviness or musicianship. Quick and intricate drums back a guitarist who is expertly switching between delicate (yet somehow still heavy) licks and a tremendous "wall of sound" tone that left my ears ringing merrily.
Capping off the night was Earthholder, an indie/post-rock trio freshly put together. Despite their relative infancy as a band, they’ve created a harmony of collaboration focused on great songwriting. Earthholder uses slow and clean guitar riffs to set up crashing waves of sound.
All in all, Saturday’s set is in my top five best shows I’ve witnessed in C-U. I’m excited to see and hear more of each of these incredible bands.
All photos by Tom Chandler and OddWorld Photography.