Concert Review

HFQ Block Party

The past weekend at the Nighlight in Chapel Hill were owned by Holidays For Quince, a local community record label that boasts some of the best bands in the triangle.  This was the first ever Block Party for HFQ and eleven different bands played the three nights. (just a quick note, all pictures below were taken by Mike Gray)

Night 1
Friday night was a first for many.  Not only was it the first night of the Holidays For Quince first ever block party, but it was also a debut CD release show for HFQ’s newest artist, Liza Kate, in addition, it was the Nighlight’s first evening with a liquor license.  Needless to say it was one hell of a show.

Embarrassing Fruits was first on the bill and kicked through most of their songs from their First Time EP.  The crowd was small at the start but by the end of their set the place had filled up.  Embarrassing Fruits is actually off of Trekky Records and not HFQ, which made it all the more apparent that this was as much of a community event as anything, and not just to highlight HFQ’s amazing group of bands (a couple of bands from HFQ are playing at TRKFest in June as well).  Plus, you have got to love EF for their “non-ironic mustaches and vintages T-shirts.”

It was only Mount Moriah’s second show ever, but this mixmash of some of the Triangle’s best local bands stole the night with some beautiful tunes and fantastic musicianship.  I think I found my new favorite band in the area and look forward to the next time they play.

Liza Kate went on next with a spectacular intimate set.  It being her CD release party I had only heard her earlier that night on the Local Beat and had never seen her before, but was pleasantly surprised with her beautiful whispery vocals over top reticent acoustic guitar.  Jenks Miller sat in for a few songs on electric and Heather McEntire sang on one song as well.  Overall, the intimate setting the Nighlight provides allowed for Liza to really connect with the crowd, and her witty entertaining comments during the breaks kept the crowd in.  Her new album off of HFQ, Don’t Let The Dogs, is one of my favorites so far this year after only one listen through.

Max Indian went on last.  Being off of Trekky Records, like the Embarrassing Fruits, they too were welcome friends.  Having seen them only about 6 or 7 times before (and never not enjoying seeing them) I decided to skip out for the night and get some rest for the radio early the next morning.  (Sorry fellas).

Night 2
Night 2 was another fantastic night for local music.  In The Year Of The Pig went on first.  People, until you see them live, then the phrase 
“melt your face off” holds no meaning.  ITYOTP really can rock your mind (and ears) into oblivion.  Their smashing duo drums overtop distorted guitar and bass took this ITYOTP n00b to a whole new level.  After 30 minutes of mind bending music, I began to feel sorry for Dave Cantwell’s drumset, but I suppose it was for a good cause.  Man, what a way to start the night.

Oh, and after their set they filled everyones bellies with some delicious homemade tacos.  

 (no pictures from ITYOTP as they played in complete darkness, very cool though)

Not be be outdone, the Curtains of Night went up next and kept the show heavy with their unique brand of female duo death metal.

The Moaners held the third slot of Night 2 and delivered on their usual bluesy americana vibe.  Their last song of the night, one which I did not recgonize, with Melissa on saw and Lauren on acoustic guitar was truly captivating.  Most of their setlist sounded like new material to me, so I either need to remind myself of their discography or even better, look forward to a new album sometime in the future.


Night 3
Night 3 was one for the ages.  Screaming Females to center stage to start the show.  Ive never seen a performance quite like this band from New Jersey put on.   Shredding guitar, pumping bass, head banging drums.  What a set.  If you havn’t seen this band, they are a MUST.  After they were done some of the people I came with and myself sat in silence for a moment to take it all in.  Speechless.

Caltrop tore it up second with their overamplified driven sound and hard progressive rock.  Heavy metal heaven.  (Word is that they may begin recording an album soon, after writing songs all winter, and plan on touring in Europe- kickass!)

Last, but obviously the headliner for the whole 3 nights, was Bellafea who launched into their set with enthusiasm only they could muster for such an already overhyped crowd.  I had not seen them in ages but was pleasantly surprised to see them just as amazing as ever before.  Their punk rock attitude never ceases to entertain.  All hail Bellafea!