Friday night at the Skylark Lounge was a bit of déjà vu. It was last February when I found myself there basking in the yellowy light, listening intently as Fellow Citizens and Old Radio filled the night with music. This past weekend’s show, a showcase from local-arts/music collective Hot Congress, brought me back to the Skylark to see… Fellow Citizens and Old Radio.
While the obvious question: “Why would you see the same lineup in the same venue twice?” did come to mind, another query had me intrigued: “How have these groups progressed since I saw them last?”
Fellow Citizens began the evening with a set of sometimes-ambient, sometimes-unrestrained wall-of-sound music. The group played through a set consisting of a number of new songs, including one that will be featured on an upcoming compilation (Act So Big Forest Compilation Vol. 1: Triton out October 12). Singer/harmonium player Eliza Boote began the band’s final song by looping her reverb-laden vocals to create a rhythmic and melodic base. By the end of the song I had been blown away by the multiplicity of sounds and the sheer quality of the music.
Old Radio closed out the night with their unique brand of shoegaze-rock. As the group bid guitarist Eric Peterson adieu (he’s going to focus on his other projects: Houses and Roger; Roll), their performance was the most intense Old Radio set I have ever seen. Their songs that night had an ebb-and-flow, often building to a feverous level of sound and energy. At one point singer/guitarist Patrick Kelly knocked over the mic stand while the entire stage pulsed with movement and energy. The highlight of their set came in the form of “Asleep at the Wheel,” a slow-burner with an excellent use of build and guitar-layering.