Menomena, do do do do doot.

Kilby Court was brought to life a few weeks ago on a Tuesday night in an all around fantastic show. It was my first time at this venue, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Tucked away in a tiny quaint neighborhood, I’m talking like really tiny, the Court of Kilby was hidden behind a wooden fence painted red, and when the gates opened it was literally a little court. Complete with a fire pit and two buildings on either side there was a great mood there. The one building on the other side of the fire pit was just big enough to fit a table to hold some merch, and the other an old garage where all the people that could crowd in did so, leaving the poor chaps that showed up later out in the cold to just watch in through the windows. The corner of the old garage that held the stage was decorated with some vinyl siding and some Christmas lights as seen above, and those simple decorations awed us all. Alright, so they might not have been that impressive, but Danny Seim, above, seemed to enjoy it.

The music started with the duo that is Hosannas. Hailing from Portland they brought with them a couple of dance tunes and a few “half-dance” tunes as they put it. They were an entertaining duo to behold: the dude on guitar wearing a white sparkly Indian jacket, possibly sized for a woman, and then a quick witted man with a turned up mustache reminiscent of an old timey strong bad finished of the pair. The music that they played reminded me a bit of animal collective. There was a lot of fuzzy guitar and just some great beats that made you want to move. They have a free EP available on their website and the rest of their work is up on bandcamp. I suggest you all check it out. They played a great set and I repeat that they are worth checking out, at least go and watch a music video off their website or something.

It’s always a fantastic thing when the opening band(s) put on enjoyable performances, but we all know there is a specific reason we came to the show in the first place, and that time had come. Well, it was the time were you just stand there and watch, waiting, and anticipating while everybody is scurrying around on stage, sometimes just aimlessly. While amps are being hooked up, wires duct taped every which way, and sound checks being done your mind just goes wild. It’s really not fair what bands can do to your mental health by simply bringing their baritone sax out for display, it almost has the same effect as when it actually gets played, which by the way was incredible.

As Menomena was doing their last checks on the setup, Justin Harris, the bass guitarist, saxophonist, and one of the singers was out and about. Doing what? We didn’t know, while the rest of the band filled us in on how their tour had been going. We heard about an ATV accident, food poisoning from a Sonic Burger, and there was just a good ol’ fashioned banter between the guys all the night long. Eventually Justin returned from whatever it was he was up to and the set started with the drone on the keyboard that begins “Strongest Man in the World.” Shortly thereafter my head exploded when Danny deafened everybody with his thundering crash symbol. It was so loud that my ears couldn’t process any more sound and all I could hear was fuzz. It was epic.

Back in January or so the original keyboardist, Brent Knopf, left the band, and the replacement keyboardist was a bit limited in filling in on the singing duties. He did however bring a lot of energy to the show with his curly red fro. It’s hard to imagine how much a keyboard player could move about, but his little fingers always managed to find their way back to their spots just in time.  So, while they were unable to play the fan favorite “Wet and Rusting” they did manage to play every song that I was hoping for; “BOTE,” “Five Little Rooms,” “Pelican,” and plenty more that I wasn’t all that familiar with. I was really impressed with Danny on the drums, he had some great fills and was just an all around interesting drummer, and I think he solidified his place as my favorite creative element in the band. I tend to enjoy the songs that feature him singing the most.

As I’ve worked my way through their back catalog since the show, I’ve been impressed by how much of a difference each album hold stylistically. Their EP, Under and Hour, is purely instrumental. The concert has helped songs like “Strongest Man in the World,” even though it destroyed most of my hearing, become some of my favorite songs from these guys, the pounding of that crash symbol is still just awesome. Band members leaving can bring a lot of trouble to bands, but after this show, which was just amazing, I have a lot of hope for the future of this band. They’ve already written some great music, and I fully expect to see them continue to put out new and interesting stuff. I also expect them to keep bringing the ruckus in their live shows and hope to see them live some more.

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