This past Saturday marked the the last night of the local music festival Troika in downtown Durham. Despite the cold weather, Anastassia and I, AndyQ, had a glorious time running around from venue to venue listening to the Triangle’s finest local music. This is our collaborative blog on our experience.
The first place we went to was at the new Motorco Music Hall, which had a nice upscale warehouse lounge vibe going on.
Filthybird started the evening out nicely with some mellow music. It was fun to watch the lead singer with her short stature play such a huge guitar.
After Filthybird, some men in snazzy suits and well manicured beards came to the stage. With their four-part harmonies and fancy finger work on the fiddle, Chatham County Line managed to crank out some good ole bluegrass reminiscent of classic Avett Brothers.
It wasn’t surprising when we looked back at the crowd and saw that they had packed the house filled with swooning listeners.
We were in for a surprise when we headed over to The Casbah.
Gray Young completely changed the atmosphere of the evening with their garage rock cords that were evocative of Explosions in the Sky. With their awesome stage presence and edgy music, it was impossible to stand still. Seeing Gray Young right after a nice folksy band like Chatham was an eye opening experience to the wide range of local music in the Triangle, and both of us really appreciated that.
Then, we saw The Loom from Brooklyn, who were well worth the walk to the Trotter Building, which was decorated nicely with lovely lanterns. I liked the band’s ability to start off with a mellow opening, only to build up to a crescendo of high energy horns, banjo, and drums. The “Middle Distance,” showcased their driving beats that backed haunting vocals. The sweet raspiness of the female vocalist accompanied by the male lead’s voice was very enjoyable.
Next, we ran back to The Motorco for Cassis Orange. This girly, but rough band was really fun to watch, with the singer dancing and jumping around. Their use of different and sometimes odd instruments came especially handy when a flutist joined them to cover Ke$ha’s “Tik-tok”. That was probably the best cover that I have heard, hands down.
Finally, after almost five hours of shows, the best was saved for last with Hammer No More the Finger. We had heard of them, but didn’t really know what to expect, and they definitely did not disappoint. It was obvious even from the beginning that they had a solid fan base in Durham. The venue was packed and a sort of mosh pit was forming. No one stood still because the guitar riffs and catchy songs were too good to not dance to.
In general, the festival not only presented some great local music, but it showcased the noteworthiness of downtown Durham, helping to disprove some people’s sentiments that Durham is Raleigh’s ghetto. We were very disappointed that there was not enough time in the night to listen to all the bands that performed. We also went with fellow DJ Godrik, who would like to add “beer should have been cheaper”.