Of all the things that characterize Mondays, high energy performances are probably last on the list. But The Districts and Sun Club both brought their music to Neumos on Monday through a explosive, sweat drenched lens. It was more than enough to shake any Monday gloom, and both sets left the Neumos crowd waking up the next morning with dancing inspired soreness and lingering earworms.
The lights of Neumos reflected off the bare skin of a whitey-tidy clad man as he danced gingerly across the stage, immediately setting the tone for a wonderfully unique set from Baltimore group Sun Club. The group is endearingly weird, and their music benefits from it. Guttural screams were countered with beautiful harmonies, and punk like guitar riffs were balanced with summery texture. They backed their music with a high energy show that included a bassist who spent more time in the air then on the ground and possibly the most intense live xylophone performance ever.
In a world littered with bands subscribing to the loud quiet loud formula formated by 90's greats, it takes a certain flair for a band to stand out against the noise. Lead man Rob Grote provides just that with The Districts, pouring raw emotion into every word he sings. When he gets loud, its with a snarl, roaring you to your feet; When he gets quiet, his words tip toe with melancholy. It's a feat that doesn't seem replicable in a live setting night after night, but the Philly based band were more than up to the task at Neumos, amplifying the feeling ten fold. There were countless examples to choose from. Whether it was Grote jumping on a speaker before joining the crowd, the band writhing around the stage during more upbeat numbers, or the chilling build of the harmonica featuring song "Funeral Beds," the group roused the crowd in a number of equally effective ways.
However the defining moment of the night surely came at its end. As Grote ripped with through a guitar solo, he jumped into the crowd, which quickly pushed him back on stage. Refusing to let the energy of the closing song fade, he jumped right back in, this time surfing the crowd before finding his feet beneath the stage. It personified the extent to which Grote and the band pour themselves into their music, willing it to come to life and refusing to let it be received with anything less than what it deserves.
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