Indie Concert Reviews: Voxhaul Broadcast, Skybombers, Rooney at Variety Playhouse Atlanta
Recently, we had a contest on Gravy and Biscuits where we picked a winner and a guest to accompany us on a trip to see indie artists Voxhaul Broadcast, along with Skybombers and Rooney, at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. The winners also received Gravy and Biscuits T-shirts and stickers, as well as a meet-and-greet with Voxhaul Broadcast, a pair of eco-friendly speakers, a paid dinner at Elmyr, and a copy of Voxhaul’s latest CD, Timing is Everything. Here’s how the night went:
Meeting our Contest Winners:
Our contest winners, David and Maegan, were very nice and couldn’t have been happier to have won. They were really happy to model their new shirts.
Eating at Elmyr:
We had been to Elmyr only once before, and I (Jebbica) had counted it as being one of the best meals of my life. This time, however, was actually kind of terrible. Our server wasn’t friendly, my BBQ Chicken Burrito, which was supposed to have all sorts of stuff in it, was 3/4 black beans, and then it had two shreds of lettuce and some undercooked chicken at the other end of it. Yuck. Next time we buy our contest winners dinner, we’ll be going elsewhere.
The Variety Playhouse:
All the people at the door were super nice. I am excited to review more shows there in the future.
The Meet and Greet with Voxhaul Broadcast:
Up a winding spiral staircase (just like Hannah), we were escorted into a tiny dressing room. There were several people packed into this tiny space, so it made it hard to get a decent photo, and the contest winners stood very awkwardly at the top of the stairs like they weren’t quite sure what to do. I think it was just very awkward all around. But the VB guys were friendly, as were the couple of Skybombers members who were up there as well. We left with promises of upcoming interviews and a taste of what it’s like being backstage at the Variety Playhouse.
Voxhaul Broadcast performed a very short set, and that in and of itself was disappointing. The songs that they did perform were tight and didn’t sound that much different than the tracks on Timing is Everything. That is a blessing, as I (John Galt) have been to many concerts where the product that you hear live is nowhere near as good as the product on the album. Voxhaul Broadcast’s upbeat California sound was a good tone setter for the rest of the show. My only complaint was that in the middle of their set, lead singer David Dennis did a screamo/Kurt Cobain-type thing that really didn’t do him any favors. Luckily, that only lasted one song, so I didn’t have to be tortured. Voxhaul Broadcast did well, though as stated before, I wished they would have played longer so that the people that had just come to see one of the other two bands might have gotten to get a real feel for VB and maybe gain a few new fans in the process.
These guys were from Melbourne, Australia, and we were immediately enamored with their accents in the dressing room. These guys played pure driving rock, and while it sounded pretty good, it wasn’t necessarily memorable. They seemed to have a pretty good keyboardist in Luke Carlson though, and Hugh Gurney was quite charismatic lead singer. They reminded me a bit of Spoon. I liked that they mentioned what each song was about and included a lot of harmonies a la The Beatles…they even mentioned that they were once in a barbershop quartet together, though I’m not sure if that was a joke or not.
I don’t know what I was really expecting from this California band, since they are more “mainstream” than a lot of the bands we cover on Gravy and Biscuits. I mean, they have opened for Hanson and the Jonas Brothers (I heart Hanson though, and I don’t care what you say). However, these guys have figured out how to put on a great live show. They sounded every bit as good as their albums and never missed a beat, even though they played for an hour and a half. Their final encore was “I’m Shakin'”, but their highlight was “When Did Your Heart Go Missing?” Both of us had that song in our heads for about a week after the show. Lead singer Robert Schwartzman proved that he has just as much talent as anyone else in his family, which includes brother Jason Schwartzman, uncle Francis Ford Coppola, and cousins Nicolas Cage and Sofia Coppola.
Overall it was a great night, and thanks again to Cornerstone Promotion for letting us run this awesome contest!
Rating:Written by Jessica P. Wallin and John Galt