On Monday I worked during the day and then was able to skip out to the New Center Park kickoff and saw Jehovah's Witness Protection Program, Duende!, and Silverghost. My, what an adventure. I slouched in near the end of JWPP's set, whom I'd never heard before. The richness achieved through the loops and other layers of sound was really nice, in fact to the point that I think they could be an instrumental band; it seems words might distract from that wall of sound. However, I did like that last song about thinking about freedom--so appropriate for the holiday. "Anthony Anonymous" was pouring his sweat out on guitar/vocals and "Jehan Dough" was solid and heavy on drums.
Next was Duende!, who has been on my radar for a while now, and they are always a pleasure. Like an ecstatic blues-rock bar fight, they bring something new to garage rock (really, they bring garage rock to something new). When I first saw them, I found Jeff's vocals irritating, but they've really grown on me. Jellyroll Joel is just a master guitar whisperer, and Laura is straight and animated behind the kit. They played a really nice set. Frank Woodman was being Frank Woodman, which is always both expected and remarkable. Standing near the front during Duende's set, he was the only one dancing and singing along. Luckily he wasn't alone during Silverghost's portion of the evening.
Steve (from Marco Polio) and I decided to rush the "dance floor" about 2 songs into Silverghost, but it didn't work to get others dancing as we'd hoped, at least not right away. Finally others joined, unafraid to look like drowning victims (me) or schizophrenic professors (Steve). Marcie and Deleano rocked the joint! Of note was the segue of The Vaselines' "Son of a Gun" into their own "So Lost Now". The last song of their encore was refreshingly downtempo, since a lot of their tunes have very similar beats/tempos, but it wasn't their first choice, ending on a low note instead of a rocker.
I went to the Northern Lights Lounge afterward to see The Eeks, who had played in the park earlier in the day. I thought they have some potential, with the singer being very performative, but I wasn't that thrilled with the music itself, which didn't live up to the singer's energy. I look forward to seeing them again.
I got home around 1:30 or so, my head and thighs still burning, crashed into bed, and woke up to go play with toxic chemicals for the day.