The night started out calmly, with Guitars at the Opera House lofts. Self described as minimalist country, they had slow but driving rhythms, simple melodies, harmonica and tambourine interludes. The beat picked up with Photon Dynamo and the Shiny Pieces, an energetic rock trio with strong technique, attractive harmonies and jazz-inspired chords and rhythms.
I next went to Brooklyn Fire Proof to catch Otis Grove, a three-member instrumental jazz/funk/hip-hop jam band from Allston, Massachusetts. Having been together eight years, they played with a solid, captivating energy, soloing and improvising off each others’ themes, utterly absorbed in the music. Sam Gilman’s riffs and chords on the Hammond organ created a distinct, 70’s sound that drove the music, while Tyler Drabick flaunted his skills on guitar and Blake Goedde showed his on drums.
Lowry, comprised of keyboards, two guitars, bass, banjo, drums, and tambourine, played next to an eager, dancing audience. Singers Alex Lowry and Heidi Sidelinker created lovely, folk melodies over simple chords and catchy beats. Sidelinker’s voice was ethereal and haunting, especially in her banjo solos toward the end.
The last band to play at Brooklyn Fire Proof was Boom Box Repair Kit, a fun, fast-paced Latin influenced indie rock/reggae band with a wild, enthusiastic energy. Frank Pace led the songs with his fast-paced, pounding drums. Most of the songs were in minor keys with saxophone and trumpet solos. Each member played an impressive solo during their last song, “Dancing with a Stranger,” marking the end of the evening.-Vivian Doskow