Seeing a show in a new city is always something I look forward to. Everywhere you go is a different experience, and this time it happened to be Miami. Five bands were slated to play the Alley, with Horse The Band headlining the festivities. The show started almost two hours late, but the time wasted was quickly made up for by opening act Look Mexico.
If American Football and Explosions In The Sky were to procreate, Look Mexico would be the result. Using delicate, melodic guitar tones and beautiful vocals, the band is just as in tune with their more rocking side, able to slide back and forth between quiet and raging just as Explosions have trademarked. The band played an energetic five-song set that was until Horse The Band came on, the most impressive act of the night.
Miami's Consular followed, or more correctly, attempted to follow Look Mexico. The band's vocalist was in Equador today, and thus the band played without, and as a three-piece. What followed was about 25 boring, monotonous minutes of slow, sludgy metal. The songs didn't seem to have much of a direction, and were definitely not helped by the lack of a singer.
Taking the middle spot was another home-bred band, this time in the form of Coffin Dancer. Boasting ex-members of Tyranny Of Shaw and Spirit Of Versailles, the band more or less continued in the tradition of its predecessors. High-pitched, shrieking vocals, post-rock instrumentals, and drumming so fast and chaotic it could have broken the sound barrier. An impressive set by the relatively new band, and most likely a prelude of great things to come.
Next came without a doubt the oddest set of the night, straight from the mouths and keyboards of Awesome New Republic. A two-man, drum and keyboard tandem, both men sang and created some bouncy grooves that had half the floor busy attempting to dance as ridiculously as humanly possible. Surprisingly, a very fun, albeit unorthodox set from the duo.
After much on-stage setup and banter, Horse The Band took the floor. I wasn't really sure what to expect with these guys. R. Borlax is a pretty hit or miss album, and I had no idea how it would translate to a live setting. Oh but I found out; insanity. From start to finish the band impressed with their unrivaled energy and interaction with the crowd that ate it all up. The band played fan favorites "Bunnies," "Pol's Voice," and finally ending, with much approval from all in attendance, "Cutsman." There had been a good level of energy from the crowd all through their set, with some good activity in the pit, but "Custman" somehow flipped an invisible switch in everyone that turned into overdrive. Aside from two drunk metalheads (one of which was wearing a Wu-Tang shirt) kicklining in the pit, everyone seemed to have an amazing time, with windmills and two steps dominating the song's duration. An exhausting hour after they started, Horse The Bands set stole the night.
Save Consular, the night was a great showing for every band involved, and a great time was had by everyone. Despite never once seeing a show there, I felt right at home, and had a tremendous time. Keep checking out for Look Mexico, because you'll be hearing from them again, I'm sure of it. As for Horse The Band, simply put, they're worth the price of admission alone.