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    Communion Presents...
    May 13th
    Zanzabar
    Louisville, KY
    (Photographs by First Light Images)

    Communion is rapidly becoming one of the best monthly showcases in the city, mostly due to the consistent stream of great talent anywhere; but Zanzabar is a perfect place for shows like this to happen.  And this month’s show was no exception with when artists like Bridge 19, Peter Matthew Bauer, and Firekid are on the bill.

    Bridge 19 is a Louisville band that was clearly raised on healthy doses of 10,000 Maniacs, Emmylou Harris, and Six Pence None the Richer.  Their earthy tones and swirling harmonies would’ve felt perfectly at home on 1997 Lilith Fair.  The band is talented, the songwriting is solid, the voices work well together – the true reality is that their live show could use some refinement.  The two lead vocalists don’t seem quite proficient on how to use microphones, their too far away, too close, singing too soft, I felt like they need more time working with them to figure out their sound.  And the drummer isn’t a clean live player, it’s a long wash of clatter and clang.  These are criticism with simple solutions, the band simply seemed green and will get better with age.

    Peter Matthew Bauer took the stage next.  He and a guitar and a large stack of pedals and a brain full of songs.  With his previous band The Walkmen on “extreme hiatus,” Bauer is touring to support his debut solo album “Liberation!” which was released last year.  Reflecting rhythms perfected with The Walkmen, he played through some of the albums better and more personal tracks including “Latin American Ficciones,” “Philadelphia Raga,” and “Irish Wake in Varanasi (for Big Pete Devlin).”

    Firekid on the other hand is a band that defies genre, two acoustic guitars, a drummer (who also has a drum machine), and a box full of electronic toys and blip bots.  And yet the end result still feels like myriad of earthy, Americana, southern influence.  Gospel, bluegrass, country, folk – it’s all in there but filtered through some inexplicable hipster, indie-rock lens.  Their latest single “Magic Mountain,” is a great example of the strange paradox of influence that makes up the Firekid canon.

    The mellow atmosphere that surrounds the whole Communion experience, is the final ingredient to the night.  It’s laid back, to the point you can grab a table and sit with chatty friends; or perch up at the bar and swill bourbon until your eyes cross in acoustic-ish emotionalism; or just stand, sincerely observing and taking in the music, embracing a new needle in the vein of a live music junkie.

     

     

    Brent Owen's picture

    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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