A small, yet eager crowd gathered at The Frequency this past Wednesday for an evening of indie rock. Three acts, each with similar makeups, performed to a crowd of roughly 25 tame listeners. The Frequency, a fairly small venue, helped support an intimate atmosphere that was unfortunately never taken fully advantage of.
The evening started off with the developing, but well-rehearsed band Trophy Dad. The Madison band seemed comfortable and in their element. Though the show had some bumps in the road, such as little-to-no diction, they quickly found their footing and rebounded. After a 30-minute set, Trophy Dad earned their salt and were subdued, yet grateful at the conclusion of their show. The audience reacted positively to their performance, and the tone they set was echoed throughout the rest of the night.
That tone, however, I did not enjoy. For every great guitar riff and flurry of drums that filled The Frequency, there was an equal amount of inaudible vocals coupled with a few too many awkward interactions with the crowd. Both Trophy Dad and And The Kids had little crowd interaction, but when they did it felt upbeat and seemed organic.
As for Palm, excluding a happy birthday nod to one of their guitarists, the set was track to track, with only a pause to tune their instruments. The word awkward is both unfitting and inappropriate to describe their mannerisms, but rather unwilling. The glazed-over stares with which the band members played came off as detached and indifferent to the audience. Though they played well, I found the lack of stage performance unsettling and, at its worst, boring. Unlike And The Kids, I was grateful that they knew what songs they were going to play and when. Their ultimate performance concluded with a jam session tilting on the side of funk. If anything, their set was the most rehearsed and well-delivered of the evening.
And The Kids took the stage to a crowd of about 15 people and kicked things off on a bit too high of a note. The vocal chops of the two guitarist were impressive and when sang in duality, enjoyable and fun. But that duel singing came too far and in between, not making up for the lead singer being too dominant on stage in both mannerisms and character. It was evident the lead vocalist knew how to capture an audience's attention, but not hold onto it. The percussionist, however, was the center of my attention. Not only did each song contain an impressive thundering of sound, but the skill she displayed was equally enjoyable. The lowest point of the evening came halfway through the set after a few long breaks resulted in an off-key bassist and a total halt of their set. Instead of recovering like Trophy Dad, the band spent a minute pointing fingers at one another and then resumed by playing an unearned, high-tempo track.
Those looking for something different and to expand their indie rock collections won’t regret giving each of the mentioned bands a listen. However, those simply in search of a new favorite band or something to pull them into the genre should keep searching. I do however recommend paying attention to Trophy Dad. The band shows potential and, if they successfully manage to record some quality content, you won’t want them to fly under your radar.