The back room at Legion is about the size of an average living room and it was completely empty when I arrived, with no sign of any music about to be made. I had a fine time waiting with my drink, especially when the bartender put on Let It Be by The Replacements and just let it play. Eventually, I heard something coming out of the other room and headed back there just in time to catch the last song of Rob Karpay's set. That was all I needed to hear of a guy shouting over pre-programmed tracks from his tiny keyboard. I will say that he has guts, and that can go a long way in rock & roll.
The next band was billed as Jizzmoppers, either the best or worst band name of all time, and my expectations were low. I perked up momentarily when I thought the guitarist was Julien from Napoleon, but then I realized it was another guy with perfect lead-guitarist looks. They turned out to have a good (but not slavish) driving psych power-pop sound and well-crafted songs, holding my interest with growing enthusiasm for the length of their set. Speaking of looks, I wouldn't expect a drummer under these circumstances to be wearing headphones - click track? line-in from the PA? - and it gave them a slightly provisional look. Are we witnessing a rehearsal, sound check or demo session? The rhythm section was locked in, though, with the drummer driving everyone on, so whatever works, I suppose. They would do well to fill out their songs with some harmony vocals on the choruses, but they are otherwise well on their way.
|They're actually called Spires|
Spires broke down their equipment, the next band set up, and suddenly the room was packed. "That's our friend," the guy next to me crowed at his girlfriend, gesturing toward Sam Cooper, who was leading the trio. The first song was like three songs in one, but in a jumbled way that didn't appeal to me. I tried one or two more but the focus improved only slightly and his nasal voice failed to become more charming. Since I had been standing for a while, I cut out back to the barroom where I found a full-blown sweaty dance party in progress. There was more joy in that room for me as there is never a bad time to hear Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough. Sam Cooper must have a good network, though, as I saw a group of folks leaving the back room when his set was over.
|Napoleon had to work fast|
|Napoleon gave their all in their short set|