Denver and Fort Collins are not the only cities with great shows – Laramie has had a strong music scene for quite a few years now and it just keeps getting better and better. This past week we had two excellent nights back to back showcasing the local talent and giving love to the traveling bands.
9/26 – Parlor Bar: Sons of Mars, Mad Macka (Australia), Redbush
Upstairs of the infamous Buckhorn Bar, Sons of Mars got the crowd warmed up with their trademark sludgy psychedelic style, Jeff Martindale and Steve Mo sharing the weight of each song with thunderous double kick and crisp bass licks over Ryan Pendleton’s janky guitar and vocals. As a concept band with a concept album centered around a time traveling mouse and cyborg – they don’t dissapoint.
Mad Macka, hailing from Australia, got up next and reminded us just what Garage rock is. For four rather older dudes they rocked out with the energy of musicians many years younger. Many of their riffs had a southern fried feel that got the full body head banging going in the front row. Macka himself sang every song with complete heart even though obviously exhausted from the 14 hour drive getting to Laramie.
Redbush finished the night by whipping everyone into a manic frenzy. Korpitz’s unsually wide vocal range was only slightly hampered by a cold, but everyone helped fill in by singing passionately along through most of the set. They played eveything off their new EP “Wonder Nugget”, a few local favorites including “Little Billy” and several new songs. McKillip’s bass parts are an important part of any Redbush song, intricate and busy providing the framework for Korpitz’s high distortion rolling guitar licks. Their sound is almost symphonic, backed by Bruhnke’s solid drumming.
9/27 – 3rd St. Cowboy Bar: Dusty McQueen, Poor Me, The Sidekicks (Cleveland)
Lind brothers Randon(drums) and Larson(guitar/vocals) make up local duo Dusty McQueen. How to describe their sound? Indie rock with lonely lyrics delivered in a gravel unexpected out of such a normally soft spoken personage.
Poor Me gets up and delivers a set like it’s the last one they will ever play with a fast punk sound sometimes reminiscent of old Authority Zero, singer Delaney dares the crowd to step forward and rock like they know they want too. For being a reasonably new band, Butler, Goyn, and Czywczynski play with the tightness of a band that’s been together for several years.
Finally, The Sidekicks took over the slighltly gear cramped stage around 11:30, drawing back in everyone who had wandered to the smoking patio in between sets. After a couple songs, I overheard two distinct descriptions of their sound, “Weezer meets Ted Leo” and “The Lawrence Arms meets The Pixies”. Frontman Steve Ciolek’s voice rang nicely atop Matt and Ryan’s backups during songs such as “Grace” and “Incandescent Days”. Matt Climer might be one of the tightest drummers I’ve ever seen, enough said. It’s safe to say they amazed the crowd, talk of their set is still buzzing around Laramie days later and I’m sure I’m going to hear their records at house parties in the months to come.