MP3 Project Showcase
Friday, April 23 Birdy’s
Some of the biggest names in Indiana rock music came together Friday night to celebrate the MP3 CD project, and the result was one of the finest shows ever played in this state. Big multi-artist shows like this are frequently uneven and unsatisfying, due to their democratic ethos: The best band on the bill gets as much stage time as the worst. You get a great 30-minute set followed by a subpar half-hour. No such handicap affected this show. Every artist I saw in more than four hours was at least good, with several of them falling into the great category. Veterans Wonderdrug played a fierce set of older and newer material, showing why they’ve maintained success for many years. An all-star hip-hop set also satisfied, with members of DaFilled and Indyviduals joining the stage with Rhymefest and Hum-V for a freestyle jam. Fest was particularly feisty in what could be one of his last Indiana shows before heading for the Billboard Top 10. The Slurs, looking particularly stylish, played an entertaining set for a nearly-filled house. Their best songs, such as “Playboy” and “The Problem With Rock and Roll,” were filled with infectious energy and a tremendously endearing fuck-you attitude. Perfect Nothing, this writer’s all-time favorite Indiana band, played an enjoyable but slightly sloppy set largely drawn from their masterful Ten Thousand Stars album. For many in the house, it was their first live PN experience because this band rarely, if ever, plays bars. Still, even at their sloppiest, the magnetism and energy of lead singers Randy Sharkey and Stephanie Brewer came through loud and clear. The evening ended with sets from About the Fire and Pizzle, two great bands who played too late for most of the crowd. Nevertheless, it was an amazing evening of fun and music. Congratulations to the organizers and the artists.