Posted by Bobby
One of the many cool things about writing for a music blog is that it allows one the opportunity to drink canned beer and see live music with the illusion of productivity. I did just that last Thursday at Beat Kitchen for a show including The Shams Band and Cyndy Fike, who I had previously written about digging separately (see here and here), as well as Rachele Eve and Valentiger.
Cyndy was with her full band, Nelken, and started the show off with a soft but powerful bit of Americana. The electric guitar sounded like it was being played on a porch with a cord trailing behind it into a house where a dusty amp sat. At least tha t's what I pictured, but I was putting away the Blatz. Driven by powerful harmonies and jangle guitar, it was a good start to the evening.
The second act, Michigan's Valentiger, was a bearded three piece that mixed well-traveled folk harmony, nostalgic 50s and 60s chord progressions and the urban frenzy of early punk three pieces (when they started their cover of the Jam's "In the City," I annoyingly began nudging the people next to me and singing Paul Weller's praises). It was cool to see these three establish a cohesive identity while covering so much musical ground.
Rachele Eve was the third act. Rachele has both the vocal chops and the songbook to be very impressive. Her songs were hooky, dynamic and memorable, and her band was kick-ass. They supported her as well as performing in their own right. It was like watching a gypsy boat full of catchy ruckus float down the river past you. The band allowed itself to lose control, get lost in the racket and then immediately tighten up and bring it back down. People were movin'.
The Shams Band performed last to a good number of people, starting their weekend early. And like I have said before, the Shams Band throws a great party. The tone of Paul Gulyas's electric lead really set the pace for a gritty, bluesy set. There were moments to slow down and make use of the three vocalists' excellent harmony, moments to get rowdy and holler, and moments to shut it down completely with the bittersweet American longing of the track "Des Plaines River."
By the end of the evening it was hard to remember that this was just the beginning of the journey for Rachele Eve and for The Shams Band. They were setting out on tour the next day. The road seems like a good place for them.