As my friend removed the keys from his gas-guzzling beast, we nodded to each other in agreement that the night was going to be fantastic. We had only seen the black-tinted, abyss-like windows outside the bar and a colorful sign positioned directly above two thick wooden doors, but the allure of the venue was enough to push collective excitement through the roof. The only requirement was a brief flash of our IDs, confirming we were of legal drinking age, which we did without hesitation.
Cozy and dark, Radio Radio turned out to be the perfect place to host a small concert--busy and bustling with people clamoring for their much beloved alcohol and a band or two on the side to make the night even better. Armed with glowstick bracelets, courtesy of the woman at the door, and an assortment of merch from the sales booth in hand, we found a table near middle of the floor and anxiously took our seats. It would be an hour before the first band, Harley Poe, would unleash their brand of zombified rockabilly horror rock on restless concert goers. Nevertheless, we were pumped and eyed our newly purchased loot with admiration.
|The zombie rawkers.|
If one criticism exists toward Harley Poe, it's that most of their material is a never-ending loop revolving around the same ideas both musically and lyrically. Two or three songs yielded a joint agreement that, while fun, the act is definitely a novelty to be enjoyed in a less serious setting and nothing musically-engaging like the following two acts. Would I see Harley Poe again? That's hard to gauge, but I'm definitely a fan of zombified tongue-in-cheek humor.
Blissfully unaware that the next act would be our favorite of the night, Leopold and his Fiction simultaneously blew my friend and I away and resulted in a high still yet to wear off. The band hit the stage after a 15-minute gear change, and from the first smack of the snare drum to the brilliantly juicy guitar licks, we knew we were going to dig the act. Let's put this into perspective: the main reason we attended the concert was to see Goliathon and to join the local Indy music scene. The rumors were true; Goliathon were a delicious blend of seventies pomp, progressive rock, and proto-heavy metal tendencies. But to have a trio from San Francisco match, if not better, the main act, well, we got everything we asked for and more.
|Leopold and his Fiction were soulful, entertaining, and perfect.|
Climactic as the show was, we knew Leopold and his Fiction were getting even hotter when James ripped his shirt off and pummeled through a round of spirited guitar solos. Filled to the brim with vigor and drive, the band were literally on fire the second half of the show and then it hit me: I wasn't going to leave the concert without an album or two. Awe set in, and I knew purchasing music from the act was a necessity, rather than a want. I'm not afraid to admit I took my attention away from Goliathon's set for a few moments just to greet Daniel James at the merch booth and grab myself a superb 7" vinyl and a CD containing Leopold and his Fiction's latest work.
That said, Goliathon were up next and Radio Radio overflowed with fans of all ages. Clearly, the act were something special to the Indy scene, and we damn well hoped they would be since we made the hour drive. As the crowd pushed closer to the front, the hype for Goliathon continued to accrue as fog erupted from the stage, while backed by a curious choice of a SNES Super Mario track. Although the band burst onto stage a few moments later and opened with an eerie brew of dual guitar harmonies, what most excited us was the Korg synth placed at the head of the stage and a beautifully golden-shone saxophone, which added another dimension to the band's music.
|The floor was packed for Goliathon.|
On every level, the night was a success. We discovered a bitchin' new band, Goliathon lived up to musical expectations, and Harley Poe provided a laugh or two. Small acts best take note on where to play next because Radio Radio is certainly one of the hotpots to grab a beer or two, relax, and enjoy a few tunes. When Leopold and his Fiction come through town again, you can bet I'll be there. That's how much they blew me away. Goliathon better be watching out for me, too.
|Swag from the show.|