The Shake Ups, Salvador Dali Llama Farm, Noah East

Irving Theater, March 5



Saturday's night's

modestly-attended, all-ages concert at The Irving was kicked off by Noah East,

also of the band The Soft Skills, playing a red Fender Jag Stag that had just

come into his possession.

"This is my first show with this new

guitar and I'm still getting to grips with it," he said before finger picking a

slow, falsetto waltz.

East also provided his own backup

the majority of the time: For one song he tapped a tambourine with his foot; on

another, he announced, "This is where the trumpet part goes," before vocalizing

the melody. He finally got some help from keyboard player Bitsy Matatall of the

Shake Ups, who emerged from the crowd to play tambourine for East's final song,

about a character who accidentally starts a fire that engulfs an entire city.

Salvador Dalai Llama Farm, which has

one of the best band names in the history of both bands and names, followed

East's performance. It was the band's first show in four months, but their

clear singing and bright grooves were untarnished. Guitar shared equal space

with other instruments, except for when it rose above the din to deliver a

biting solo.

Another guitar/bass/keys/drums

combo, The Shake Ups, headlined the show, their melodic power-pop more than

filling the historic space. Among the highlights was an autobiographical song

that name-checks people on their band e-mail list, "We Are The Shake Ups."

Not only that, but Matatall

helpfully pre-warned the all-ages crowd of "the worst" curse word ahead in the

lyrics before a particular song began. Midway through their set she quickly

made her way through the audience handing out snack-sized bags of chips to

every member of the crowd. The Shake Ups are truly a full-service band.


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