03.08: Julie Odell + Hannah Kreiger-Benson + Pree – Circle Bar
The back half of 2011 was one of the most satisfying stretches of live music in recent memory. Local and national acts – plus exciting combinations of the two – took to stages large and small with admirable frequency, putting on shows that seemed informed by an edict that every band on a bill is required to bring the wood every time. Good bands sounded great, great bands sounded awesome, and there was no shortage of show stealing and mind-blowing surprises mixed in along the way. It was an engrossing time to be a local concert-rat, and as part of this weekend’s Foburg Music Festival, Simple Play Productions is offering everyone another chance to experience some of the true highlights of the last six months.
The Features are making the quickest return trip to the city after playing One Eyed Jacks just this January with San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma and Saturday night’s local openers Coyotes. Together, the bands that evening held a masterclass on the many splendid faces of indie rock; the Coyotes brought a bouncy cosmic-Americana slant, Girl In A Coma shredded gut-bustingly straightforward and evocative pop punk, and The Features themselves offered up an exuberant tour de force that was both more aggressive and catchier than anything you’ll find on their excellent recorded material.
David Vanderveldle’s last stop in New Orleans was a special engagement at Chickie Wah Wah, one of the Mid-City jazz staple’s first forays into alternative independent rock. With help from a supercharged backing band that included local troubadour extraordinaire Ben Jones on guitar and vocals, Vandervelde’s dense, one-man band melodies exploded into rousing, heavy-duty rippers caught somewhere between Middle America via Marc Bolan and Jay Bennet’s outerspace. And who, of those in attendance, can forget J. Roddy Walston and The Business‘ “Rock and Roll is not dead, man” performance at One Eyed Jacks just a month earlier, when they took an opening spot on the latest Futurebirds tour and turned it into a dirt-duabed electric gospel revival.
In a year full of standout performances, the national acts sharing the stage at Maison on Saturday night undoubtedly sit near the top of any list chronicling the most eye-opening, hard-rocking and/or soul-shaking of the bunch. As such, the show will be less of a festival-centric experience than a veritable “NOLA Shows Greatest Hits”. If you missed even one of these bands last time they graced our city, it’s no doubt worth seeing the other two again.
Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks