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Cammies: Indie/Experimental Showcase

Amanda Rhine

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The Cammies merchandise table at The Maltese Bar & Taproom on Friday during the indie/experimental showcase. Photo credit: Trevor Ryan

The word “experimental” has a tendency to raise a few eyebrows, and when it’s referring to a genre of music there is bound to be some skepticism when one doesn’t know what to expect.

Friday night, The Maltese Bar & Tap Room hosed the indie/experimental section of the 2015 Cammies, and any skepticism was replaced with pleasantly-surprised amusement upon walking through the door.

Electronic pop band Solar Estates had the crowd engaged from the get-go and held it through the whole set. They had a mellow vibe, but emanated enough energy to keep people moving to their catchy beats and unexpected synth sounds.

The music, coupled with Aric Jeffries melodic vocals, reminiscent of Win Butler’s from Arcade Fire, set the bar pretty high for the following acts and certainly made them a strong contender in the genre.

Sisterhoods, unfortunately, did not rise to the challenge. That’s not to say the indie band put on a poor performance. They didn’t. However, the transition from middle-energy synth pop to low-energy indie rock threw a wrench into the atmospheric gears of the evening.

There seemed to be a bit of a sound glitch going on which distorted the lead singer’s words and vocals, making it difficult to hear anything but noise. Though it was noise that sounded pretty good during most of the show.

Besides the hinky sound problems, the momentum quickly dropped and people started to lose interest in the music and began mingling more. Until the middle of the set that is, when the pace picked back up.

The attention was short-lived, sadly, and by the time the last song was over the floor was practically empty. Sisterhoods made a determined effort, but it wasn’t enough to impress. It may have been a different story if they had played first, but being the second act worked against them.

The last act was Pageant Dads. Oh, Pageant Dads. For a band that has a reputation of putting on a fun and entertaining show, they certainly did their best to live up to it. Luckily for them, and the patrons, they did.

The indie band demanded attention the second it took the stage, especially because of the bright, sparkly jacket one of the members was wearing. An interesting fashion statement, to say the least.

Once the music started going, the whole joint was bouncing along with the band. It was beginning to look like a great end for the night. Then the music paused, and the talking began.

Everyone was totally immersed in the moment until the band started basically talking amongst themselves through the microphones. Maybe conversational rock is a new genre that they are trying to bring to light, but it totally threw their set.

Most of the comments seemed to be boasts about previous awards or something to that effect. Most of the words were mumbled or slurred. Perhaps the guys had a few too many beforehand, and it really took away from their music. It could end up working against them when the awards are given out on Saturday.

Amanda Rhine can be reached at [email protected] or @am_rhine on Twitter.

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Cammies: Indie/Experimental Showcase