Show Review

Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, United States Three, Everything, Now!

Melody Inn

Friday, Dec. 30

“Keep the dream alive outside,” encouraged Jon Rogers, lead singer of Muncie outfit Everything, Now!, at the Melody Inn as would-be attendees outdoors continued to grow due to the capacity crowd inside. Sadly for the chilled hopefuls forced to watch through the front window, no one inside could pull themselves away from the sugary sweet sounds being emitted from the stage.

Depending on when you see Everything, Now! they could have anywhere from three to 10 members on stage at a time; each banging on anything within reach in perfect harmony. On this night I counted eight, half of whom were new since the last time I saw them. Together, they are the tightest loose-knit outfit. On record, they have your ears in constant shock with their solid and entirely unique experimental pop songs. Live, they do the same for your eyes. How can all of these radically different elements come together right before you and sound so damn good?

I don’t know.

It appears they are always on the edge of totally falling apart, but you soon realize not one of them is about to let that happen. Blending in a fair number of new songs and passing out grilled vegetables in between songs (yes, you read that correctly), the band completely created an alternate universe on stage for a solid 30-some minutes.

On to the second act of the night: United States Three. Can anyone tell me how Vess does it? How long has this guy been writing impeccable pop songs? And exactly how many of them does he have? And how many of his bands have we loved over the years? I guess it doesn’t really matter how or why, let us all appreciate the fact that United States Three has decided to have another go at it. Oh, and they were as tight as ever.

Any time Mark Cutsinger and Vess get together, the results are always delightful. A few weeks back, the recently reunited US3 played to capacity crowds two nights running at the Bowery Ballroom in the “little town of New York City.” And for their 45-minute set on Thursday, it felt like a cold night in a small packed-out club in NYC, where you were discovering a band on the verge of being huge.

Ah, speaking of being huge: Band of the moment Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s took the stage(s) next. Yes, both stages. The east wall of the Melody Inn was totally taken over by this second seven-plus member band of the evening. Their set was a little more rocking than usual, which was a surprise. People keep saying the freshly dried ink on their contract with Artemis Records will be great for our fair city, which may turn out to be true. But I am more excited for the ears of listeners worldwide to experience the joys we have had access to for just about a year now. So, yeah. It was a huge drag for the folks who were turned away or forced to stand on Illinois Street. But with three of the area’s best bands playing one show, promotion by Groove Truck and Standard Recording, AND guest DJ Michael Kenney — it was bound to be a little ridiculous.


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