Next up was Champaign, Ill.-based Elsinore, a quartet touring on the heels of the release of their EP “Life Inside an Elephant.” Playing after Hot Fox, these guys had a cleaner, more straight-forward, power-pop kind of feel, making good use of the keyboard. Led by the long-haired and highly-skilled showman Ryan Groff, Elsinore delivered about a half-dozen short tracks, including several from the new EP: the title track; “The General." The soulful, haunting “The Thermostat, the Telephone,” from an earlier release, also stood out. These guys play heavy on the low end, while keeping the pace up-speed and allowing Groff’s vocals to take center stage. They closed their set with a cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” taking the '80s classic and making it their own while still delivering the goods.
Rounding out the night was Indy-based Accordions, led by frontman Ben Bernthal variously on the auto-harp and ukulele. Combining the auto-harp with an electric bass, guitar, and drums gives this band a really dramatic sound, with pace changes and vocal harmonies that carry an epic quality. Accordions are operating on a pretty sophisticated level, experimenting with odd instrumentation, time signatures and a cappella interludes. However, the nuances of Bernthal's lyrics were drowned out for some reason, which tended to take away from the gravity of the otherwise innovative and engaging performance.