Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ice Cream with the Queen

By Guest Blogger, Sydney Schumacher, PR Intern, Arts in Media
I’d never been to The Queen before, but I have to say, it’s a pretty awesome place for an Ice Cream Festival After Party. The “Upstairs” is intimate but with room to move and space between tables for everyone to see the stage. It’s a cool area that promotes artistic genre co-mingling; the funky paintings on the walls fit well with the ‘concert-space’ feel. Not to mention, they’ve got killer soft-pretzels on the menu to keep your stomach occupied.

The first band up was Travel Songs, who were particularly impressive because, as they told us before they played, they’d only practiced together once—and it was that morning. I’d describe their sound as a bit reggae/island, a bit folksy rock. Their singer is smooth, consistent, on pitch, and has a great tenor voice that glides through every one of their songs.  Props to him for being the only singer for an entire set. He explains that their music is inspired from various trips around the world, and it shows. Around the middle of their set, I really started to get into their music. Their songs had strong beats and sweet melody lines, held up by the talented musicians on keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, and drums. For one of their tunes, the singer pulled out a ukelele, which I loved. Their last song (it sounded like they called it "Mexico") was a fantastic closing number—it made me feel like I was on a beach listening to the bar band.

Next up was Me And This Army, from Baltimore—a trio with a more indie-rock style. Their songs were loud and fast, and their lead singer had a strong voice and knew how to belt it out. Their bass-guitarist was intense, with fast fingers and impressive talent, and the drummer was definitely energetic and loving life onstage. They're a talented group, for sure, and smart enough to play on their strengths. Before their last song, they unleashed some humor on us, too, saying, “Come chat with us…we can talk about politics, Miley Cyrus’ marriage, chocolate…anything! And then go download our last song!” Said last song was called “You,” and I will most definitely be searching it out! Hopefully Me and This Army will be back for more Gable Music Ventures events.

Last but not least was one of my new favorites, The Way Home, from Philadelphia. I saw them at the Chris White Gallery a few weeks back, and their set and sound haven’t changed much since then. Which was lucky for me, because I got to hear some of their best tunes again, like “Summer Feels Like Forever” and “Jessica” (both of which are off their album “On So Thin a Line”). Even after having played a show the night before, their harmonies and energy are still amazing. Quite a brilliant way to end the night—fit for the Queen!

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