Local music is an absolutely wonderful thing, and something that I may not be taking advantage of as much as I could, or should. What you will find on the local circuit, wherever you are, are the stars of tomorrow. The big national acts you already know and love had to come from somewhere, they do not magically appear on the big scene.
They started in some small town, where they members banded together to create some music with no idea where it would lead them, playing small bars and clubs, slowly building a fan base until they get the opportunity to make a deal to move up to the big leagues. Of course, many more bands live and die on the local scene, for whatever reason. It does not make them bad by any stretch, any number of factors come into play that I could not even begin to touch.
What does that have to do with Audible Thought? Well, they are a local band. A good one. One that has seen many ups and downs over the years, while steadily cultivating a fan base. I first met them years ago through a member (no longer with the band), whom I had met while he was in other acts. Over the years we have become friends, but with an understanding, our friendship does not give them a free pass when it comes to reviewing their performances. It is an agreement that has stood the test of time.
Again, before even getting to their performance on this night, I want to stress the importance of supporting the local scene. If you like music, get out there and check out some of these acts, be it at the clubs, the bars, park performances, whatever. You are sure to find a number of lame acts with no future, but you are equally likely to find bands that you do like, or that have promise for the future. Those with promise offer up a wonderful opportunity. Since they are local, you will get the chance to see them a number of times over a period of time, you will get to see them grow and develop. I tell you, it is a great thing to see a rough around the edges young band become more polished and develop into a considerably better act.
Let me add that if you find a band that you like, go and tell them. Be honest with them about their performance and what you think of their music. Believe me when I tell you they will appreciate it; they want to improve as much as you would like them to and being anything less than honest will do them and you a disservice.
I have seen, reviewed, and befriended a number of acts over the years. Some of them are no longer around, others I have lost touch with, while still others continue to get better and develop their skills. This brings me to Audible Thought.
Here is a band that continually puts on strong shows, although of late too many months go in between performances (something that will hopefully change in the near future). The last time they played out was in May, at the same venue as this evening's performance, The Barking Frog bar in Beacon, NY. It is a small place, but that only adds to the intimate nature of the performance.
The evening kicked off at 10:00 with a short acoustic set by vocalist Lou West and guitarist Ryan Cady. It lasted roughly twenty-minutes and consisted of cover tunes, including Stone Temple Pilot's "Plush" and Lynyrd Skynyrd classic "Sweet Home Alabama." Let me say that acoustic is not their strong suit, but it was still fun. It turned out to be a good way to get the people involved and warmed up for what was yet to come.
A brief intermission later, the full band took up their instruments and launched into the first of two sets with the title track from their first LP, "Measure Up." The two sets consisted primarily of the tunes from that album, but also featured more recent tunes as "Can't Break Me," which actually isn't all that new anymore, but still one of my favorite songs from the quartet.
The first set closed with the debut of a new song called "Crush." This song is quite good and a bit different from their other material. The song is bit heavier and faster than others in their catalog. I loved the heaviness of it, although parts of it sounded a bit rushed, a fact I am sure was caused by the anxiety that comes with premiering new material.
Was the night perfect? No, not by a long shot, but that does not make it bad. Drummer Mike Doyle was using a new snare that had snappier sounding hits, it was distinctly different and took a bit of getting used to, but I ended up liking it. The song "Speed Demon" sounded a little strange, but I cannot quite put my finger on what was different. This is in addition to a few timing miscues and missed notes. Nothing terribly egregious, but worth mentioning.
In the end, these guys put on a fun show with about two hours of total music. I have to recommend that if you are in the Dutchess County, NY, area that you give them a shot if you have the chance. They will be performing next at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY, on October 17th. The show will also feature fellow local act Downfire on what should be a strong night for local music.