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Oct 16 2007

Photos: Stellastarr*, Pela & Exit Clov

I am super swamped at work today so I'll have to keep this semi-short. Saturday was my third time "seeing" Stellastarr*, a band I really do not care for at all. But I absolutely love it when they tour!

Why?

because they have this cunning knack of bringing along opening bands that totally blow them off the stage. To wit:

Oct. 6th, 2005 - I helped get Cedars on the bill for this show, so I went early to see their set. The middle band? Giant effing Drag, who totally blew me away and quickly shot up to "my new favorite band" status.

March 30, 2006 - I go to see this opening band from England called Editors. I walk out with my jaw on the floor. They were that good. Also worth noting, that was my very first gig with my then brand-new Canon Rebel XT.

October 13, 2007 - They play again and Pela is on the bill with them. Now, I've obviously seen Pela a few times by this point, including the year before at a DAM!Fest show. I liked that performance so much that I booked the band to play Unbuckled for DCist. That was another great show, but while it was easy to see that while the band had all the tunes they needed, they were more energy than anything else at that point. The chops still weren't there. More of the same when I caught them in San Fran a few months ago, although they showed improvement. Then the gig on Saturday. Holy hell. They were brilliant. Forced to do a 30 minute set due to the schedule, they wasted no time and pulled no punches, delivering one of the best sets of music I've seen this year. They were damn near perfect. The choruses were big and soared when they needed to and Billy showed a newfound talent for pulling back a bit and showing a bit of restraint during the slower songs. Nate supplies and endless supply of killer riffs and hooks while Eric and Tomislav keep it all in check. That was a fucking good show.

The venue certainly added a bit to the atmosphere. It was at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue, which has fabulous acoustics and and superb soundsystem. I'd go see another show there in a heartbeat.

I spoke to Nate for a minute before they went on and he said after that festival thing in NYC this week that I've promised not to mention, they'll be going into the studio and the band plan to have a new record out by middle of next year. I, for one, cannot wait.

I did stick around a bit for a few Stellastarr* songs, but I just couldn't get into it, so I split and caught a bit of Craig Wedren at the Rock n Roll Hotel. I got my "Red House" fix after a while (props for playing it mid-set) and went home and crashed. Not a bad Saturday night in D.C. Not bad at all.

Overall, attendance at this year's DAM!Fest seemed spotty at best, which I assume doesn't bode well for the future. Not sure why that was. Seemed like a lot of people were out of town last weekend, but the ones that were here didn't show up.

Posted by Kyle in Concert Pics | Permalink

Comments

Giant Drag was fantastic that night. Opening for Pretty Girls Make Graves? Not so much.

Posted by: Rusty at October 17, 2007 3:04 PM

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