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July Talk, The Warhawks and Thee Idea Men @ Boot & Saddle.

March 4, 2015

2.27.15_JUMP_JulyTalk_Boot&Saddle_DarraghDandurand_18Text and images by Darragh Dandurand.

Thee Idea Men, a goofy foursome with a pop-rocker sound, played an unapologetic set as they opened on Friday night at Boot & Saddle.

Punchy, upbeat songs jumped one into the next, starting off the show on a high note. In between tunes, guitar player and vocalist Matthew Jurasek tried to tell a few jokes which were lost between a scratchy microphone and the tuning of guitars. Matt Raspanti, the other guitar player and singer, cracked smiles with a punky rendition of Macy Gray’s, “I Try.”

The Warhawks descended on the stage only a few minutes later, hustling to hang a custom backdrop and reset the stage for their set. Upon their request, the skinny, rectangular room was blacked out. All but a blue-gelled stagelight and three portable LEDs attached to the respective necks of the guitars and bass offered a pseudo-experimental glow.

Every song bled a matured angst, as if the edgy rock and roll oozing off stage was the proud product of a basement band that stuck together long after high school let out. The music was itchy and impatient, brutally fast and furious.

Lead vocalist Matthew Orlando took a moment to dedicate The Warhawks’ show to a recently deceased friend, for whom the band also wrote a heavy song.

On tour from Toronto, the alternative act July Talk looked comfortable on stage. Fans had traveled all the way from Canada to hear their beloved rockers show off in the packed venue. Every song in July Talk’s répertoire de la nuit was a duet consisting of stretched syllables from Peter Dreimanis and girlish, gentle notes sung like whispers from Leah Fay.

As if possessed, Dreimanis’ eyes practically bulged from his head when he screamed like a mad man. He gripped his guitar as if he were trying to strangle it and pulled on Fay’s bowl cut. Fay wriggled in her signature way, writhing across stage, seductively touching Dreimanis’ face and arms to stir up the crowd. Their little acts were obviously expected and the two complemented their crazy, stagey chemistry with harsh, pushed and weighty tunes that all sounded the same when sung live.


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