Thursday, May 15, 2008

Triple Header At The Rickshaw Stop: Port O'Brien, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and Girls

These days, it's tough to get two decent bands in a room together, much less produce a stunning triple-act that satisfies on all fronts. And yet, last night at the Rickshaw Stop, Port O'Brien, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and Girls, did exactly that. The three bands complimented each other perfectly, and created a night of awesome entertainment that was completely fitting for the celebration of Port O'Brien's latest CD.

Local band Girls were first on stage, and to be frank, having neither heard nor heard of them, we had no idea what to expect. Suffice it to say, this is (probably) the best band you've never heard. We were pleasantly surprised by an awesome set of fuzzed out, experimental rock that was still extremely strong in both melody and structure.

The sound itself was extremely hard to characterize, and is perhaps better heard than described. We enjoyed the band immensely, and would give you an mp3 - unfortunately, there's no CD yet, so you'll have to make do with myspace streaming. That being said, the band is fantastic, and is playing again in July at Hotel Utah. We'll be there, and we recommend you do the same.

Next up was Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. The band clearly had a following in the audience, and delivered a very straight forward pop-rock punch. The melodies were tight, the songs were well written, and the band was technically sound. They upped the ante a bit by switching instruments and vocalists half way through the show, while still maintaining the same tight delivery.

Maybe it was the placement between two more experimental acts, or maybe it's just a taste thing, but by the time SSLYBY finished their set, we almost were left feeling like it was a little too tight, poppy, and accessible. It's not that there was anything wrong per se, but the band just seemed to wear their hearts on their sleeves and have a "what you see is what you get" delivery. Which is to say: four typical dudes from Missouri playing accessible, likeable indie pop. And there's nothing wrong with that.

With SSLYBS headed off stage, Port O'Brien arrived and delivered the culmination of the night's expectations. The band started out with a slower, acoustic driven set of their albums' slower songs. The tunes were fantastic, and the band was dead on. Van Pierszalowski's voice was in fine form, and he led the band through a number of driven, melodic, folkish tunes.

Just when perhaps things were feeling a tiny bit too mellow, Van put aside his acoustic, and announced that it was now time for some rock. Indeed. With telecaster in hand, the band busted into a blazing set of rock tunes that showed off just how versatile this band is. They can proceed from mellow, folkish, lyrical music to all out feedback drenched rock on the flip of a switch.

Both of the bands "sets" were fantastic, and as the show neared to an end around midnight, we were both shocked and disappointed that the end had come so quickly. There is little doubt in our minds here at H.A.D. that Port O'Brien is a force to be reckoned with in the Bay Area music scene. Moreover, with bands like Girls on the horizon, it makes us think that we may have a full on music "scene" growing up out of the fog. Gee whiz.

To close the night, Van invited the audience on stage for a pots-and-pans driven sing along. It was a great way to end an awesome evening, and congratulate this killer band on the arrival of their latest disc. Job well done.

Many more photos available at the H.A.D. Flickr Feed.


Anonymous said...

I liked Girls a lot. The other two... not as much.

Anonymous said...

boris was the best. i left after there set

Anonymous said...

girls was cool.
boris was boring as hell.
port o brien was brilliant.