Just after 10 p.m. January 21, three local bands stormed the stage at the Vogue, heating the January air with toasty jams.
Opening act Ladymoon began the first song of their set by tip-toeing through a few muted melodies and ended it with a roaring, distorted denouement. Guitarist Ryan Brown's red Gibson SG served up one sneak attack after another, while bassist Kris Potts and drummer Nick Mallers provided expert ground support.
"I think I lost my glasses on that tune," said Brown after rocking his spectacles off his face. "I think I'll just leave 'em off."
The technical skill of the band was on full display as both Brown and Potts revealed crispy, virtuosic fretting during their performance. Mallers easily handled the band's many time signature changes. The power trio concluded their set with an all-out assault on their instruments, making me wonder if the on-stage haze was from the smoke machines or the band itself.
Up next was Borrow Tomorrow, another Indianapolis-based act. In turns, the band first hit the ground running with electric instrumentation and then slowed things up with piano and acoustic guitar work.
The band's first show at the Vogue in a year saw the four-piece road-testing "no fewer than 5 brand new songs," according to the band. Still, the band's faithful were in full regale. Several members of the audience could be seen holding their drinks in the air as they shouted along with the band's standbys. But just as Borrow Tomorrow whipped their audience into a gyrating mob, the band concluded their set. This left those closest to the stage to chant for an encore that sadly went unrequited.
Finally, the Max Allen Band took the stage. The tight three piece pummeled the assembled with relentless groove. Max Allen (guitar and lead vocals), Shaan France (drums and vocals) and Dace Robie (bass and vocals) produced a groove polished to a smooth shine. The band clearly had a following built in to the crowd ready to ride their sonic wave.
See photos from the show, courtesy of Rob Burgess/Anderton Leaf Photography.