Ask anyone who has ever been in a band if they ever joked or thought about using a drum machine, click track or just a simple metronome in place of a human drummer. Most will probably tell you they said it to their very real drummer’s face, and all of them were also only half-joking.
But as appealing a prospect as that may sound (or in some cases a thinly-veiled threat), in practice it takes away a lot; especially from a live performance.
Now imagine you’re in a three piece band including your drummer.
And you have a show to play the night before your new album drops.
And it’s your first full-length without a vocalist.
<insert sweaty palms>
This scenario is exactly where Reilly and Nick of Night Verses found themselves for their show last Saturday at The Secret Group.
Categorizing this new, and vocals-less incarnation of Night Verses isn’t exactly the easiest task as they flirt with quite a few genres that when mentioned together would raise a few eyebrows: Prog Metal, Experimental Rock/Metal, Shoegaze/Doomgaze/Metalgaze/Blackgaze, Post-Metal, Post-Rock, and more that would make this even more of an exercise in silliness.
All of the aforementioned factors in lesser hands are a recipe for a messy, MESSY show, but Night Verses went through nearly all of the tracks their latest record “From the Gallery of Sleep” and absolutely killed it.
The drummer-less wonder duo screamed through their set of stand-out tracks like Copper Wasp, No.0 and Infinity Beach, and though I couldn’t keep my eyes off of Nick’s fingertaps, there’s no way there was a motionless head or foot in the room.
Keep your eyes and your ears on Night Verses. If there’s any cosmic fairness, these guys should be going places.
The rest of the bill was rounded out earlier in the night by Bakersfield, California’s own singer/songwriter supreme, Andrés, local bands Vox Vocis, and new favorite of mine Den Mother; whose unmistakable Mars Volta-esque vibe was surprisingly appreciated by this reviewer, as I was never that big of a Mars Volta fan to begin with.
The evening was nicely capped off by a solid set by Strawberry Girls; another instrumental band whose name got a raucous laugh and cheer when pointed out on the marquee by one of a gaggle of barely 21 sorority girls passing by the venue on their way to whatever East Downtown bar will serve them.
Kudos to Booking at The Secret Group for putting together such a great show, and for expertly adding awesome local support to an already stellar touring triad.