Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pretty Little Empire and Mimicking Birds Old Rock House St. Louis 8.8.10

I enjoy each visit to St. Louis each time I visit. On this visit I got to see good friends Pretty Little Empire play with Mimicking Birds (a day after their Lolla set) at The Old Rock House. The venue is a fully refurbished and still has some of the older touches left in tact. The sound was really good and a video camera in the balcony let you see the acts at the front bar television.

Pretty Little Empire's set sounded great and they were as tight as I have seen them as a unit. Members are Justin Johnson, Evan O'Neal, Will Godfred, and Wade Durbin. Their trademark high energy show brought a sizable crowd out who danced to their music. Luckily they played quite a few of their songs from their soon to be released 2nd album whose sound branches out more into indie rock while still having an Americana and Western overtones. They are a rare band in that Justin, Will and Evan all sing lead on songs to great effect. The different lead vocals work well with respect to the overall sound. PLE are already planning the recording of their 3rd album. In addition to this Justin plays in The Jump Starts a side project with Sarah Ross (from St. Louis band Paper Dolls). I always get to meet the families of the guys in the bands and that is a treat, as the people in St. Louis are always so nice.

After PLE's set the Mimicking Birds who are Nate Lacy, Aaron Hanson, Ian Luxton kept people enthralled with there trance like form of indie folk. Some things that were striking were Nate Lacey's easy vocals and interesting song subjects which you can find on their self titled debut album on Glacial Place Records. It was Nate's Birthday that night so the band led the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday. Nate's guitar work coupled with Aaron and Ian's backing made this set up a fuller sound than the original recordings that Nate put on line about a year ago. Those recording were loose but I think maybe more in line with how Nate envisioned these songs. There is no denying the effect of the songs when played live with the backing band.

I was fortunate to hang out at Will's place after the show with all the members of both PLE and Mimicking Birds and it is always refreshing when wildly talented people are accessible as well. I got the feeling the guys from Mimicking Birds are looking forward to recording another album and that maybe they look for the recording process to be a bit more in line with what they have thought their songs should be. I have had the fortune of hanging with the PLE guys a few times and always enjoy to hear what they are up to and what their current thought of PLE are.


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