The Blue Party: 07.18.2011

It would be easy to say that a band like the Blue Party looks a little out-of-place at the Saint. Indeed, a bar that is home to ear-splitting metal shows and bawdy late night dance parties wouldn’t seem to be the most inviting place for a college band that plays self-proclaimed “Ameriparty” music.  But the Blue Party is not just some “college band” that plays good-time folk-pop in and around the quad.  They’ve been touring the entire American south and midwest since mid-January, and their recent show in New Orleans was less a homecoming than it was a brisk stop at their homebase before launching yet another midwestern tour that will last through September. So if there’s one thing undeniable about the Blue Party, it’s that they aren’t half-assing it.

Underneath the hyperactive, road tested party antics of this six-piece lies a level of sheer musical virtuosity not found in many groups stomping around town.  Not a single note of their set sounded undercooked or out of place, even as the band members spent a large majority of the performance climbing onto, over and around the amps, audience and each other.  Instead, the straight forward foundations of singer Reid Martin’s earnest songwriting were aptly filled in by fellow vocalist Natalie Mae’s stellar harmonies, and guitarists George Stathakes and Alex Bachari exchanged shred-heavy blows over the spontaneous tempo changes that came courtesy of the nimble rhythm section.

The result was a chaotic vibe that had the whole of the Saint’s collective attention. Though they’d just followed the acutely technical high-energy power pop of Tuscaloosa’s Baak Gwai, the Blue Party had the remaining weeknight audience members at the very least bobbing their heads with excitement, but often spastically dancing with the band or each other.  And by the time they wrapped up their super-sized set with a medley of covers that concluded with a raucous and inspired take on the participatory classic “Shout”, even the regular 2am skells, who generally stay glued to the ratty tables around the Saint’s jukebox regardless of any live programming that happens to be taking place around them, seemed to be fully-on board with one of the harder working bands in the city.

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