Save Our Scene

Hartland PAC 11/14/09

The second half of my weekend of awesome shows brought me to the Hartland Performing Arts Center once again. Originally, The Morning Of was supposed to headline, but they had to drop due to illness in the band. The show was still a lot of fun though.

Unfortunately, I was running late and missed the first two acts, Paper Wings ( and Giraffe Attack (, but I heard both were a lot of fun.

The first band I caught was Audrey ( Again, the band played a really great set. They had a lot more space then the last time I caught them at Mac’s Bar and it allowed them to move around a lot more. The energy was super high on everyone’s part; they are always a treat to watch. They did have a few flubs, notably Shawn having some problems with his bass, but the set was altogether solid and as always a lot of fun for both band and audience.

Next was Ender (, one of my favorite Michigan acts and one of the ones that got me into going to shows on a regular basis. The three-piece plays surprisingly fast paced indie rock. The highlight of their show for me is always their drummer, Schyler Binkley. He has more energy and raw talent than most drummers I’ve ever seen and uses every aspect of his set, including a lot of playing on the rims. It’s very cool and very unique. I like that they have started doing more harmonizing between their bassist and guitarist which is giving their sound a really mature, dynamic sound. This band has all the talent to make it; they just need to catch a break. Be sure to check them out first chance you get.

A Letter to You ( was next. Coming off their recent EP release, the band is really riding a high right now. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect much from this group. Everything I’ve heard told me that they were just generic pop music, but they really blew me away. They are all very talented musicians and lead singer Drew has a very strong voice, even though he said he was feeling really ill. They had some trouble with their samples, but that was largely due to the fact that they weren’t using their normal drummer as he was out of town. They still played a really great set though and did a nice job of getting the crowd into it. Definitely worth seeing again.

Then it was Drawback to Discourse, a relatively new pop punk band in the Livingston County scene. They were unfortunately without a singer as he apparently bailed on them to go out to Pennsylvania at the last minute. They didn’t have time to organize how to do the vocal parts, so instead the band just played instrumentally. They had a ton of energy and were all having a great time which helped the crowd to as well. They mixed in elements of hardcore for a more unique sound. I can’t wait to see what this band will do once they get their lineup and organization together. Stay tuned on them for sure.

And finally, Tiger! Tiger! ( played a surprise set. The show they had booked apparently got canceled, so the band was added onto the bill last minute. Their set was much the same to the one they played the night before, but they didn’t have any major problems this time, so it ran much smoother. Nick also seemed to have a lot higher energy. Unfortunately, he announced this would be his last show though. Not much else to say besides another solid set from a solid band. They’re slowing down for the rest of the year as they search for a new bassist and are going to be having a lot going on in the new year, so be excited.

That’s it for this weekend. Saturday’s show had much of the same community feel as the Apathetic Critic show from the night before and it was really good to see how the scene came together this weekend. Lots of fun was had by everyone in attendance and there were good vibes abound. Everyone seems really tight in the area right now, and I’m really glad.

Lots of great bands to check out, make sure you take the time to look them up this week!



Mac’s Bar 11/01/09
November 3, 2009, 6:42 pm
Filed under: Show Review | Tags: , , , , ,

I’m finally going to catch up with my show reviews. Yay!

First of all, happy November everyone. I picked a great way to start the month off as this was a fantastic show. Only three artists, but that meant fairly lengthy sets and time for me to get home and work on “homework.” Or just dick around. Anyway. Music:

Audrey ( was the first band tonight, an awesome quintet from Muskegon, MI. I’ve seen this band a few times before and they get brownie points for being some of the nicest fellas I’ve ever met. They played a much longer set than I am used to today, which was very refreshing. They opened up with older songs that I hadn’t heard before and finished with playing a bunch of songs off their just released EP. They play some really cool upbeat pop-rock that has a lot of lyrical depth, something a lot of bands in the genre can’t say. They are led by vocalist Everett Parks whose is always impressive with his range and how much he moves around on stage. He is truly a great frontman. The best thing about this band is seeing how much fun they are having on stage. The crowd at Mac’s was probably 20-25 people, but the band was still running all over the stage and singing along to their own songs. They were all smiles it was a great site to see. They played a super solid set and look poised for a big end of 2009 and early 2010 with an EP under their belt and a fine tuned live show. Keep an eye on them this year.

Next was Chase Pagan ( from Mountain Home, AR. Chase came on stage with a guitar around his neck and a piano on the other side of the stage, but he played all the songs by himself. Some he used the piano, which had a strange almost old-Western sounding tone that reminded me of a saloon, and acoustic guitar songs that he played with a lot of reverb for a very cool, unique tone. I enjoyed his guitar playing a lot more than his piano, as I felt like the latter got repetitive and over simplified at times. He was a very talented guitar player though for the brand of folk rock that he plays. However, I felt that lyrically he was a weak songwriter on some of his songs. I felt like the songs were cheap imitations of folk classics or unoriginal, repetitive, and distant from the person he was. It just seemed like his songs didn’t really deal with anything personal or important to him, but were just songs. Consequently, I couldn’t really get into his music, and found myself just looking forward to the next band.

Wrapping up the set was Lansing locals Elliot Street Lunatic ( This 4-piece plays a spacey brand of 60s inspired rock and roll. Another band that looked like they were having a great time on stage, ESL did a lot of interacting with the hometown crowd and had people singing and dancing along all through their set. They played mostly songs off their new EP as well as a cover of The Beatles’ Twist and Shout and The Pixies’ Where is My Mind? that were both a lot of fun for audience and were played very well. They didn’t try to do anything too special with them, but they were fun breaks from their original music and gave people that hadn’t heard their music a chance to sing along as well. Their set was very solid with good sound and no real mistakes and they made sure everyone had a lot of fun. Certainly another artist to watch in the coming months.

That’s it for the weekend folks. Gave you plenty to check out for self for sure! I’m going to start trying to do album reviews soon, so keep your eyes and ears out for that. Leave a comment, let me know what you think!