Between 5 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday, I embarked on a show-going marathon, catching six different local concerts at venues of all varieties. And from the soothing post-rock sounds of Scanlines to the raging punk madness of Fine Young Casuals, the spectrum of sounds that I soaked in was incredibly vast as well, ultimately speaking to Indy’s current music state.
My journey began at the heart of the city, with Ampersand Blues Band performing on Monument Circle. Fronted by Christian Taylor, the group’s raw set of rock ‘n’ roll marked the final installment of Musical Family Tree’s weekly concert series through Big Car’s Spark Monument Circle programming. Playing several songs from their self-titled debut release, the band served as the perfect kickstart for the long night ahead.
After venturing back to Fountain Square to check on my cat Lou, I stopped by New Day Meadery for a tasty pint. While taking this quick breather, I was treated to a stripped down set from Chris Dance and the Holy Echo. With a brand new album on the way, the group’s sound combines elements of Paul Simon-esque world music with Chris Thile-esque Americana. From here, I then ventured up to Mass Ave for Crossroads Comedy Festival’s Block Party, which was presented by local record label Rad Summer. Located just outside of the Art Bank, the shindig featured performances from a selection of Rad Summer affiliates, including Party Lines, Sirius Blvck, John Stamps and DJ Little Town (a.k.a. Jessica Hemesath, a member of Shame Thugs). On the cold autumn evening, Little Town successfully kept the crowd warm with a great set of dance-friendly tunes. This booty shaking continued with Party Lines, too, who play a style of grooving, Michael Jackson-inspired synth-pop. After Party Lines, Sirius Blvck and John Stamps also performed, but I was already on my way to concert #4 back in Fountain Square.
Next on my agenda, I decided to stop by the White Rabbit, where a great local rock show was underway. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it in time for opener Jessica Albatross, who play a style of 90’s-inspired rock ‘n’ roll (think Pavement). But after Jessica Albatross, Scanlines jumped into a set of masterfully orchestrated post-rock, playing several tracks from their recently released full-length titled Figure of Speech. Following this set, a beefed-up version of Memory Foam took the stage, featuring a horn section backing vocalists and more. Although I later heard this set was great from friends that I left behind, I admittedly took an Uber over to State Street Pub before Ben Bernthal and company played.
Upon arriving at the pub, I was greeted by a ripping set of hardcore punk from Fine Young Casuals, who also happened to be celebrating the release of their debut cassette. Playing to a packed house, the group tore through several tunes in the span of merely 15 minutes before clearing the stage for Ancient Slang. After a few years away, the much-loved Indy punk super-band agreed to reunite for this one night only, and they definitely did not disappoint.
After returning home for a much-needed night of sleep, I made my way to Indy CD & Vinyl for the final stop on my 24-hour extravaganza to catch a very special Cassette Store Day show. With a brand new cassette on Holy Infinite Freedom Revival, Frequency Ghost (or Adam Gross from S.M. Wolf) performed a set of dense electronic tunes, before the triumphant live return of Sir Deja Doog. After recently undergoing several medical treatments, Doog took the stage for the first time in a year and a half, playing several songs from his excellent 2014 album Love Coffin. Additionally, the Bloomington songwriter debuted several new songs from an upcoming release, which will appropriately be titled The Return of Sir Deja Doog.
This concert concluded my 24 hours of great local music, but the truth is that I’m already sitting here wondering what shows I’ll head out to tonight. In reading through this account, I honestly just hope that you can realize how much homegrown music goodness this city has to offer on a regular basis. So go out there, get involved and show these artists some love. I really don’t think you’ll regret it.