Sunday, November 7, 2010

Troika Day 3 Highlights

Before I say anything about the night's festivities I want to say that Troika 2010 was an amazing weekend full of amazing music. North Carolina's finest shined throughout the festival and proved to everyone in attendance why the Triangle has one of the best music scenes in the whole country. A big thanks goes out to everyone who put the festival together and to everyone who helped keep the wheels spinning throughout the weekend.

Day 3 began with Filthybird, although it began a bit later than expected. I missed the Organos/Phil Cook show unfortunately, but because of that I got a great Bottom String Session in with Birds & Arrows. I arrived at Motorco about ten minutes late (you'd think after 2 nights of downtown Durham I'd know my way around, but evidently not) but that didn't stop me from enjoying the rest of Filthybird's set. Renee Mendoza's voice soared above the music, whether she was on the keys or the guitar it was hard not to keep your eyes on her, as her voice is truly something special. The sound that Filthybird puts out is one of the more unique that I saw at the festival, it's a crazy blend of folk, pop, americana, and psychedelic but it's something that works greatly for them. Filthybird are definitely a band to watch out for in the scene because they've got a great show and some great music.

After Filthybird, Motorco started to get pretty packed for Chatham County Line. Having not seen the band before I was getting pretty excited and once they all took the stage and crowded around one microphone I knew I was about to see something special. Chatham County Line puts on an absolutely stellar live performance, it was one of my favorite sets of the entire weekend. The best part was how there was no focus on one sole band member, each one had his time to shine and when he did, he shined bright. The harmonies were excellent, the songwriting is excellent, and their stage presence was something truly special. I've never seen four guys packed in tightly around a microphone still manage to fill up such a large stage. When the band ended their set the crowd erupted, and turning around I saw that Motorco was filled from wall to wall with cheering fans. Truly a great moment at Troika.

After Chatham County Line it was off to The Casbah to check out Shipwrecker. Not being from Durham, I vastly underestimated how long the walk would take and ended up getting to The Casbah with three songs left from Shipwrecker, but that was all I needed to see to know that this was a band to be on the watch for. Shipwrecker is the only band I've seen so far that took a ukulele and produced a sound that quite frankly, I didn't think was possible from a ukulele (pedals, man. Pedals). I wish I had caught more of their set, but from what I saw I learned that Shipwrecker is a band that can produce some catchy songs that sound traditional and unique all at the same time.

Gray Young was on next and it was a show that I've been looking forward to for quite some time. The Casbah was a great place to have Gray Young though, the place has a great sound and Gray Young filled it perfectly. The crowd got progressively larger throughout the set and Gray Young put on a great performance. While what I didn't get to see all of their set (I didn't want to make the same mistake twice with the walk between The Casbah and Motorco so I headed out before the band ended), Gray Young took my conceptions of their live show and blew it out of the water. Chas' voice rang out through The Casbah and delivered the exact effect it did the first time I heard the band, it moved me. The can't emphasize enough that this band need to be heard. Do yourself a favor and listen to Gray Young, better yet go see them.

After Gray Young it was back to Motorco for Cassis Orange. It wasn't nearly as crowded as before, but by the time Cassis Orange started the crowd began to pile in closer and closer and grew with each song. Cassis Orange put on my favorite set of Troika. The energy that each song brought had the crowd dancing along to almost every song. Autumn's voice is one that sounds even better live than on the recordings and although the songs are personal and heartfelt there's just something about them that makes you want to sing along. Cassis Orange is THE BAND to watch in North Carolina because with the talent that they have it's only going to be a matter of time before they explode. Oh, and I can't forget to mention that they closed with a cover of "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha...featuring a flute. Enough said.

Pink Flag came on after Cassis Orange (I attempted to catch Mount Moriah at Fullsteam but the cold and the massive crowd drew me back across the street) and I was pleasantly surprised by them. The all female power-pop-punk trio all shared vocal duties, and sometimes the crowd did too. The songs were catchy, but often times seemed to end before I even realized it. Nonetheless, the band put on a good live show, rocking until just before 1:00.

The closer of the festival, the Durham favorites...Hammer No More The Fingers. I've had the fortune of seeing Hammer before, but didn't get to enjoy the set very much seeing as last time I saw them I was the festival organizer, so getting to enjoy the band was great. The crowd was PACKED, clearly the 1:00 am start time didn't stop anyone from enjoying one last amazing show. Hammer came out with USA baseball jerseys on and jumped right into the music. Seeing the crowd singing along, jumping around, and genuinely enjoying themselves (almost as much as it looked like Hammer was) was a great way to close out Troika. Hammer No More The Fingers was the perfect band to close Troika with and certainly left everyone with an amazing feeling once it was over.

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