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     Review: New Bravado, Black Birds of Paradise, Graffiti, and The Hot Wires
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    It came as no surprise that The Hot Wires and Graffiti nailed DO502’s Free Week show Friday night at Headliners, but there were two other local groups that demanded some attention too; Black Birds of Paradise and New Bravado lent some interesting sets as well.

    New Bravado kicked off the show to a fairly empty room, but the four-piece quickly drew a decent crowd with their thundering drums and guitar-driven sound. It would be too simple to label them psychedelic rock because they’re adding a different element to the ever-popular genre. What that is I can’t quite define, but for being a four-piece group they have the presence of a much larger one. They’re LOUD and the bass player, Adam Copelin, is something of a marvel to watch. He gives a whole new meaning to “slapping the bass”.

    As soon as New Bravado finished, in swooped Black Birds of Paradise and some rather strange pyramid structures claiming space on each side of the stage. The lighting became brighter and blast off! Did I just get transported into another world? If science fiction were a musical genre these guys would be it.  What started as a moment of questioning quickly turned into a psychedelic journey through the imagination. Near the end of the set the pyramids turned around and met the crowd with moving eyeballs, giant hands waving up and down, and an odd looking creature dancing in the back. “That’s so cool man” spread through the crowd like wild fire as the Squallis Puppeteers accompanied the dreamy sound. Black Birds of Paradise are worth seeing if not only for the vibraphone then for the comical vocal undertones and magically, freaky presence.

    Next up was Graffiti who immediately drew the largest crowd of the night. Garage, punk, psychedelic, whatever you want to call it, it’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. These guys are a captivating group of individuals. Easy to watch and easy to get into. Benny Clark’s vocals carry an essence of Billy Corgan like some strange, trippy dream on the verge of a nightmare and it’s good. You can’t keep your eyes off them; their stage presence and sound definitely demands an audience.

    The Hot Wires managed to carry over the energy from Graffiti and take it to another level. As a three piece, The Hot Wires, filled the stage and the room with an “in your face” 60’s Rock sound. Another band with ability to fill the stage with a presence of a much larger group. This could be in part to the 1960’s black and white movie clips playing in the background and practically with them. Racing motorcycle clips in tandem with guitar riffs and images of dancing women really put the sexiness back into Rock ‘n’ Roll.

    Photo: Courtesy of Traci Kayrouz 




    Katie Molck's picture

    About Katie Molck

    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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