Recap: No and Electric Guest at Upstate Concert Hall

Earlier this week, I stopped by Tierra Coffee Roasters on Madison for a tasting of the two newest additions to their selection of fair trade and organic coffees. The spotlighted coffee came from two individual farms in Honduras and each had a distinctive taste that the staff talked in detail about from the background of the coffee to the taste influences of each blend. I’m no coffee aficionado so when I’m able to enjoy coffee black without even dreaming of adding milk, that’s how I rate coffee as amazing. Be sure not to miss their next tasting!

Anyhow, due to the coffee tasting, I missed out on catching the opening band, No Line & Circle, at Upstate Concert Hall and arrived just in time to catch the beginning of the band NO‘s set. The Los Angeles-based band hit the Twitter jackpot, with their username literally being “@no” and the band joked that aside from that, they are hard to find on the Internet. (This proved immediately true when I later tried to find their discography by way of Google). Also, I couldn’t help but think it’d be great if they’d collaborate with the band FUN on an ironically depressing song.

Hit the jump to read the rest of my review and also be sure to check out Step Up Presents upcoming show roster and add a few to your calendar.

The five piece dressed in all black, with some black ties thrown in, and at first listen, sounded very similar to the Killers. I personally enjoy the Killers and therefore found myself enjoying their set. They played from their recent release, “Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Here Forever,” and their high energy had the audience forgetting it was pouring rain outside. Additionally, after their set they promised they’d email their new record to anyone who wanted it and the very next morning, I had a copy in my inbox, sent even before work emails started pouring in. Respect to bands who care about getting their music out and interacting with people first and foremost.

Next up was headlining Electric Guest, whose live set was my first exposure to their music. Immediately following the first song, I was glad I decided to come out to this show.

Lead singer Asa Taccone has an incredible voice, with excellent range and control. His speaking voice was very deep and his singing voice hit high notes that I know many female vocalists strain to reach. The band had a retro swing rock vibe with plenty of synth thrown in the mix. The result is light-hearted music for not-serious people to dance to and sing along to, with some semi-serious ballads thrown in for good measure.

The band powered through their set, including hits “Amber” and “Hollywood,” and shared some anecdotes about the last time they played in the area and also about a guy interrupting their performance early on in their tour asking if he can do the Worm onstage at an “appropriate time.” Needless to say, this band was fun and was clearly having fun with the audience. Upon crowd demand for an encore, the band returned to admit that they only have 10 songs, and having played 9 so far, had exactly one song (“Jenny”) left to share. Everyone was glad they did.

Next time you’re looking for something to do, check out a show regardless of if you’ve heard the music before or not. Chances are, you’ll have a good time.

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