The Oct. 16 line-up at 1904 Music Hall had a little sumpin’ sumpin’ for everyone — even the thousands of trippy hippies who packed out Veterans Memorial Arena’s Phish show earlier in the night.
Openers Mercury Girls, an indiepop band from Philly, played their first show in Florida, with lead singer Sarah Schimeneck bringing a chill energy that got the night off to a mellowy bum rock kind of start.
Then we jammed out to Foxing, a band out of St. Louis that features heavily in horns and strings. Everyone was digging on frontman Conor Murphy’s singing and trumpeting on their high-energy tunes that had the dance floor packed. Foxing’s blend of delicate and soft, mixed with intense buildups, somehow just worked and kept the crowd fully engaged throughout the set.
The next act, out of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, was Balance and Composure, whose new album just dropped on Oct. 7. It’s somewhat of a departure from previous works in the sense that it’s less aggressive and more melodic, even trance-inducing. Even though few were familiar enough with Balance and Composure’s newer songs to sing along, everyone was into Jon Simmons’ calm, soothing voice that in turns blends and contrasts against the backdrop of tunes that range from slow to upbeat and heavy. In the heavier jams, a few braver souls even mustered the (possibly liquid) courage to crowdsurf.
Though we working folks had to hit the pillow for a bright and early Monday morning, after the Phish show let out, 1904 kept the tour kids going with an afterparty that was slated to last until the wee hours of the morning. Feature act The Heavy Pets grooved out with a jam-band style that was a perfect follow-up to Grateful Dead’s heir apparent. The Heavy Pets, hailing from Fort Lauderdale, is a five-person band with major bonafides, having being gigging around for about a decade, playing their signature crossover style that fuses rock, blues, R&B, funk, jazz, disco and reggae. The Heavy Pets has earned such accolades as The Huffington Post’s naming their self-titled album a “Top 10 Album of 2010.”
Just like the 904, it gets hot in the 1904, but it’s the kind of heat that keeps you coming back for more.