Gig Reviews

Mess Hall – The Annandale 1/7/11

The Annandale Birthday party was in full swing as the week long celebration saw Mess Hall return to the stage along with 78 Saab to help blow out the candles on the birthday cake.

Openers were Underlights. It is always intimidating for a band to play to an empty room. The handful of people who were there quietly stood up the back taking in Underlights expansive, flowing, desert rock vibe they had going on. The songs were good, the harmonies worked and their set was okay. The sound did get a bit distorted at times and this was more due to the fact they were playing to a hollow space. Think old Dinosaur Jr and you get an idea where these guys are coming from. Well worth checking out.

I’ll admit I forgot all about 78 Saab. I remember hearing them a bit six or seven years ago and they had a couple of tracks get a high rotation on the jays. They’ve really nailed that indie rock sound. The kind of thing that you see at every music festival going around. Now, it’s not a band thing. I kind of enjoy that genre more live than on an album. Vocalist/guitarist Ben was keen to show off his new effects pedal, even though he can’t play solos, which is what it was designed for! Good set from the guys and I am always impressed by a band with a left handed guitarist.

There’s one thing in rock that always blows my mind: that is how powerful and loud a two piece band can be. Look at The Black Keys, The White Stripes and Mess Hall. Their blues fuzzed guitar/drum based rock packs a punch. They exploded from the first song and didn’t really let up until the end of the set. Even the slower tracks still had a thunder about them and the two (sometimes three) piece managed to sound like there were 10 musicians up there rocking out. The capacity crowd were mesmerized by their power and presence on stage. At one point I lost track of which song was which and had to snap out of it when they finished and left the stage. It was a nice feeling to be totally lost in the music. It may have been a while since I last saw Mess Hall but they didn’t fail to impress again. It was a solid rock show put on as only the ‘Dale can put on.

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