Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Show Review: The American Dollar, The Files and Fires, Wess Meets West, Martin Luther King
Words: Monica Lyons
Pics: John Kritzman Full set of photos HERE!
On Wednesday, April 13, The Files and Fires kicked off their album release with a show at the Heirloom Arts Theatre in Danbury along with performances by The American Dollar, Wess Meets West, and Martin Luther King. I was very surprised to see that the initial small crowd inside the venue didn’t get much bigger as the night went on. In fact, it was the smallest show I’d ever been to. Nonetheless, the undersized gathering made for a more intimate performance for who was there.
I stood from the balcony inside the venue as Wess Meets West began as the first performance of the night. The band played as a giant projection screen behind them displayed different sequences of images, such as reverse footage of moving cars, which pleasantly synched up with their sound. They laid their melodic foundation and really get into the heaviness that evolves throughout their songs. I’ve seen Wess Meets West a few times before, but no two performances seem alike. They did play their ever popular “The Mountains are Shaking at the Roots,” in which guitarist Sam Stauff and bassist Erick Alfisi intensely chant the title and join Brian DiCrescenzo in loud percussion hits. Wess Meets West exceeds any three piece band expectations to produce passionate rhythmic elements, deep emotion and a seriously genuine feel. At the end of the night, I picked up a copy of their latest project, The Sun The Moon The Master, which unfortunately, in my opinion, falls short in capturing their immensely large live sound. Wess Meets West is definitely a band to be seen in the flesh.
Martin Luther King disrupted the ambient theme of the night and brought pop-punk intensity full of strained vocals and catchy fast-paced rhythms. Their presence felt really young and earnest, displaying sincerity and emotion in their sound. I appreciated how straightforward they were and didn’t use any trendy effects or complicated, over-the-top progressions. It was disappointing that not many people were there to watch their performance, but the existing crowd made it a point to stand directly in front of them. Martin Luther King’s set was brief, but they excitingly announced they’ll be playing in Chubbastock in New Britain on April 23 for anyone who was interested.