In the backyard of an unsuspecting house near Downtown Indianapolis, a garage fitted with some couches, a small stage and PA speakers shaking with loud math rock laid in wait for a night's worth of music not far from the Record Store Day festivities in Broad Ripple.
This garage would be the final destination for Pessoa and Caelume, long time friends and two of Indy's finest emo acts. What was once a free event soon doubled as a rally for a cause when Pessoa's guitar player Bill Stack had a family member recently diagnosed with cancer. Funds were collected at the door to raise money for her chemo therapy.
The bill for the show included the best friend bands of the two departing headliners. Wounded Knee has members of one of those bands, Caelume and the now-defunct The Greater Good, but sounds like their heavier, angrier brother. Wounded Knee was a good start to what would become a great day of music and emotions.
With Pessoa and Caelume now out of the picture, Fly Painted Feathers could be Indy's next noteworthy emo band. Fly Painted Feathers displays frantic, melodic finger-tapping and mathy time signatures to make surprisingly catchy songs. Another band making an impression on Indianapolis' emo music scene is SRVVLST. The Columbus, Ohio group is an impressive screamo act that brings to mind influences from bands like Kidcrash and Hella.
Indie-hoppers Indian City Weather started to rile up the crowd; then, Cincinnati's Dessa Sons delivered quick pop-punk songs that never overstayed their welcome. Halfway through one of their songs, they pulled out a brief half-cover of a The Greater Good song, much to the surprise of fans of the band and the members of the band that were in attendance.
Finally, Pessoa took the stage and, despite some technical difficulties, managed to play an emotional set filled with old songs and new, including several songs the band stopped playing live ("Well Oh Well" and "Slower, Still"). The crowd climbed all over the garage, stole microphones offered to them by singer Josh Would and sang every word they knew at their top of their lungs with the band. Emotions hit a fever pitch when Pessoa closed with their most popular song, "The Coming Up Right." Their set was capped off with tears, hugs and another extended ovation to chants of "PESSOA!"