Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream
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Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream

Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream will serve as a blog for me to share my thoughts and musings, with a special emphasis on music. The music that will appear in this blog is for evaluation/sampling purposes only, and is designed to promote up and coming bands. Remember, if you like the artist(s), buy the CD! If you are the owner of a sound file and would like it removed, please contact us and we will kindly take it down.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Concert Review: Voxtrot @ the Ottobar, 7.17.07

The Show: Playing a make-up show at Baltimore's The Ottobar, Voxtrot, who admitted being tired from a trip to Pitchfork Festival (as fans, not performers), headlined a show with three other solid Baltimore acts, Two if By Sea, The Heavycoats, and The Jennifers.

The Pros: The best song of the night was a new one; an explosion of energy and freshness that wasn’t quite there in the rest of the set. The song was super catchy and had a well executed tempo change and guitar solo. The Ottobar, which has really stepped up the quality of bands it books (getting increasingly less cookie-cutter hard rock / metal bands that plague so many venues of its size), is a fantastic place to catch a show. It’s a bit out of the way, unless you live in Baltimore, but it’s just the right size and even has a parking lot! Some acts of note this summer include: Mooney Suzuki, Deer Hunter, Battles, Singer (ex 90 Day Men / US Maple--I need to check them out), Pelican and the Detroit Cobras.

The Cons: Voxtrot works better when the crowd has just as much energy as the band and is fully engaged. There were definitely a good amount of devoted fans but still, there were too many folded arms and passive observers. While the band certainly was well-rehearsed, they need to keep gaining performance experience to add a little more showmanship and to do a better job keeping the audience engaged in between songs. Their overall sound was clean and pure, opting for tone and balance over loudness and abrasiveness. This said, what they lacked was enough dynamic contrast and variety in their musical gestures. Their sound was too contained, but they proved with a new song and an oldie, "Your Biggest Fan," that they have the ability to give a shock and awe performance.

The Verdict: Playing a great mix of old songs (including "Your Biggest Fan" and "Raised by Wolves"--the encore), songs from their most recent self -titled release (most notably "Brother in Conflict" and "Every Day"), and an incredible new song, Voxtrot was a refreshing way to spend a Tuesday evening. It’s nice to watch bands that are just thrilled to be delivering their music on stage and don’t seem disgruntled with the pangs of a being musicians. Though the set was on the short side (not necessarily a decision of Voxtrot’s), it was delivered with ease and charisma. Certainly one of the best up and coming bands and a great live act.

Report Card

The Setlist: B

The Crowd: C

The Vocals: B+

The Instruments: B

Final Grade: B

Listen to Voxtrot's "Raised by Wolves"

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