It's common practice for Indy concertgoers to show up about an hour after a scheduled start time. Doors open at 8 and the show starts at 9? That really means nobody will start showing up until 9, so the band won’t be on stage sooner than 10. Even at 10, you’re likely just arriving in time for the opening act. And who cares about the opening act?
Well, The Mousetrap does. That’s who.
This past weekend, I stopped in at The Trap while the evening was still young to check out what the early birds were catching on Friday and Saturday nights. Turns out, a hell of a lot more than just worms.
Loveless Root kicked off Friday night's festivities around 10:30. With multi-instrumental talent spread across the six-piece electric bluesy jam group, each of the band's songs presented a new mix of sounds. One bass guitarist, Chris Kremer, also played saxophone and Electronic Wind Instrument, while another bass guitarist, Jesse Scott Bieber, shared guitar responsibilities with two others, Roderick Allen Minch and Josh Mast. Joey Ray Wills held down a traditional drum set, while Eddie Roodvoets (also from Dudes of Lord and dressed in a loud-patterned matching-pants-and-jacket outfit) contributed “alternative percussion."
Spacey conceptual rock that begs to echo through the woods of an outdoor music festival comprised a large majority of their set, further agitating the bad case of festival fever I’ve been fighting for weeks now. Occasionally though, Loveless Root tweaked their sound to take on a different persona. My favorite example of this genre exploration was an electrified country song that seemed inspired by country acid-house group Alabama 3.
Saturday night The Mousetrap was the setting for a full-blown ragefest, even early on. There was a typical jam-band loving weekend crowd, but the music would have easily entertained The Trap’s EDM-devouring Altered Thurzday crowd. Eumatik follows a popular trend in jam music right now by fusing electronic elements with live instrumentation. Josh Lockwood (on keys, as well as laptop and Abelton Live) acted as the orchestrator, leading jazz pianist Ashton Kleemann and percussionist Derek Shelton, who served up live drumming that emulated manufactured beats with amazing meticulousness.
During one tune, Shelton’s sticks tapped out an infectious swing beat on his drumset’s high-hat with an impressive speed and relentless precision that brought the song to life. Eumatik’s self-described “UFO-summoning, twist-bopping, trance-inducing, disco-fever-catching sounds” surely threw a few people for a loop Saturday night when they walked into The Mousetrap looking for some easy-going jam music. That’s the great thing about Mousetrappers, though. If it sounds good and has musical merit, they will find a way to dance to it. Even if it’s only 9 p.m.