July Talk, Mona, and Little Junior rock Rumba Cafe
Our friend and sound guy Bob Prenger recently attended a raucous show at Rumba Cafe. Below is his recap of the evening:
I was wildly impressed with Little Junior. While there wasn’t one specific thing that made the show particularly great, the group as a whole was incredibly tight and a fun, engaging live presence. Their sound was hard hitting and energetic – reminiscent of PUP, but with Modern Baseball type whiny vocals and lyrics. With only one single out, the band is still pretty new. I can’t wait to catch them again in a few years with a crowd full of loyal supporters, singing their songs back to them. The three bands created an excellently cohesive lineup, and Little Junior could not have done a better job warming up the crowd and setting the mood of a fun alt-indie rock show.
Mona came out strong right from the beginning of their set. Nick Brown’s vocal performance was their strongest aspect by far. The minute he began singing I looked over at my friend who was with me and said “Wow, that guy can sing,” shocked at the how little effort it took for him. A few songs into the set, Brown’s stage monitor went out, leaving him singing blind. Undeterred by technical difficulties, he took it in stride and kept on going with the show, never slowing down. Nick came out into the crowd, singing surrounded by a group of fans who had been following the tour for a week. Later he made his way to the bar, tiptoeing through and around beer bottles, credit cards, and bartenders wiping down spilled liquor. Mona’s set was high energy from start to finish, and I will definitely catch them again next time they’re in town.
July Talk came out on stage to a roaring round of applause, the drums started a beat, and Peter Dreimanis began tapping away the intro to “Picturing Love” looking just like Schroeder from the Peanuts cartoons. Leah Fay danced around on stage, holding intense eye contact with the audience. Through their hour-long set, I couldn’t stop thinking about how odd their stage presence was. They never stopped interacting with each other. They were constantly making faces, pulling hair, or grabbing each other. I could never tell if they were fighting or in love. The same thing goes with their music. Dreimanis scream/sings overtop the keyboard with a gravely, grungy tone, and Fay comes in with a pretty singsong almost as a relief to Dreimanis’ grit. Everything about the band displays this conflict, from their singing, to their black and white clothes, to their demeanor on stage. I can’t wait to see them in a larger venue to see what they do with lights and production.