By C Creature
Saturday night at Kings Barcade brought a packed house and good tunes from the killer line-up of headliner Annuals, Luego and Jenna & the Jintlemen. I was super excited about Luego as I saw them a few months ago and knew they put on a good show. I had heard good things about Jenna & the Jintlemen and after meeting the lead, Jenna Smith, a few weekends ago while out with friends, I was excited to see her and her “Jintlemen” do their thing. Headliner, Annuals, had their national debut on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, so having never seen them perform, my expectations were high.
When I got there Jenna & the Jintlemen were just finishing up with two songs left in their set; however, I only needed to hear about 30 seconds to know that I loved her voice and band. She’s got a sweet, dreamy and delicate voice, which makes listening to her easy and ever-so-pleasant. Since I was late, I’m not sure if she played “Marcello, Marcello,” but that is one of my favorites by her and it showcases her voice beautifully.
After Jenna & the Jintlemen exited stage left, Luego took the spotlight to bring us some indie/alternative country rock, a few of the songs laced with a soft Spanish influence (especially those from the Ocho album). Lead, Patrick Phelan, has a unique voice and is unmistakable for anyone else’s in the Triangle and definitely makes you think of voices like Paul McCartney’s and Bob Dylan’s…maybe a little Rod Stewart. Dressed in a simple white v-neck decorated only by an ambiguous rectangle rolled into his sleeve (he claimed they weren’t “real” cigarettes), grey Levi’s and cowboy boots, he convinced me we were in years bygone. His songs have lyrics that are simple and melodic with out being kitschy. Supported by Peter Holsapple, William Moose, Mark Connor, Cameron Lee, Charles Cleaver, Jeff Crawford and Will Goodyear, Luego is a collective band of friendly, endearing outlaws just singing about what they know. I’m honestly struck by how classic the themes of their songs are and how good they pull it off. Some bands try and seem like they can sing songs like “You Better Run,” or “Atta Boy,” or “Jesse James,” or “How ‘Bout Them Rules,” but can’t with out sounding painfully cliche. Luego has a great talent for using their inspirations to make fresh songs that only later make you think, “Wow, that sounded kind of like ‘_______’.”
Standing in the crowd officially feeling like if I walked out side I’d see cacti, tumbleweeds and maybe a sheriff, Luego finished and was rewarded with gracious applause from the crowd. Luego smiled, said thanks and introduced headliners, Annuals.
Now, as I previously stated, I’ve never seen Annuals perform before; however, I’ve heard nothing but great things from people whose music taste I respect AND they’ve played on Conan twice. While they were setting up, people continued to pour into the venue, showing me just how serious of a fan base they have and just why they headlined: people love them.
I do not, I found out. I was actually really disappointed because I just knew that after Jenna & and the Jintlemin and Luego, two groups I love, Annuals would only further my “I’m at such a great show” high, but as it turned out, they did quite the opposite and sobered me up. Led by Adam Baker and supported by Kenny Florence, Mike Robinson, Zach Oden, Anna Spence and Nick Radford, they sang a bunch of songs I couldn’t understand the words to and really didn’t care to find out. I was reminded of too many songs I listened to when I was 16 and add that to Adam’s “yell-singing” as I call it, I just had to shake my head. I expressed my concern and confusion to a compadre of mine at the bar and he looked at me like I was crazy and went on to tell me how much he just “loved, loved, loved” Annuals and why they were so great. For the rest of the night he and many of my other friends witnessed to me and tried to convert me into a fan because apparently if you don’t like Annuals, you’re going to musical hell where Rebecca Black reins supreme.
In any case, none of them convinced me and since then I’ve tried to find a song I at least kind of like, but I just can’t. My ears do not like them and here is why: there is no real melody just a lot of yelling, loud guitars and drums.
That being said, are they talented? Yes. Do they know how to put on a show? Yes, very much so. Did they pack the house? Yes. Do I understand their appeal? Yes. So there it is, I can 100% endorse the fact that they did a great job at Kings, tickling the fancy of all their fans and never made a mistake that I could tell.
So IN CONCLUSION, anyone who went to Kings Saturday night had no excuse to not have a freakin’ awesome time. Every band rocked it out with their respective fans loving it. It was definitely one of my favorite shows of June and flawlessly executed by all groups involved.