Article by Tim McLaughlin, Photography by Hapless Guitar Photography
Weathers rocking out
Happy Valentines Day,
Lets talk music
The great benefit to shooting bands is that when you shoot the main act you usually get the benefit of seeing the opener and are often pleasantly surprised.
In this case I was there to only see the opener and was happily surprised when I happened upon the middle act.
L.A. meets Indianapolis
In 2017 I was asked by Saint Motel to shoot their show at The Deluxe at Old National Centre, and the first band to hit the stage was Weathers. They captured my attention immediately as they looked like a prototypical Southern California boy band, but that would be a short-lived short-sighted view. Sure they had the looks, and the right gear, but could they grab the audiences attention? The short answer is yes, and the longer answer is YES!!! From the beginning of that show (2017), to the end of this show (2019) they let their musicianship do the talking and let the other bands sweat it out.
Some songs have a very L.A. feel, like “Problems,” “Poser,” “The Night Is Calling”, and “1983.” which translate very well from the radio to the stage. This, again, is a testament to their musicianship along with stagecraft. Songs like “Shallow Water” and “I’m Not OK” are well written songs that prime the crowd, all while having virtually no instrumental solos. While the lead singer engages the crowd, their set felt almost punk like. They genuinely want to play music, and then connect with the fans off stage.
And then there is “Happy Pills.” This song might be the one with the best hook in their catalogue and might be the song you see them close out a festival with that they’ll be headlining.
Hopefully in the very near future.
This band is polished, great live, and if you haven’t seen them yet their videos are high quality.
AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OY OY OY
So exit stage right goes Weathers and on strolls Castlecomer. I had NO idea who these five guys were but more than a few folks in the crowd LOST THEIR MINDS when they came on stage, and it was for good reason.
This five piece band from Sydney, four of them cousins and the fifth has been a friend since preschool have been in this band since the beginning. According to the band’s singer, Bede Kennedy, this is the only band any of them have ever been in. Bede spoke about a bit of the song writing process, which was to sit in a quite room with an acoustic guitar and develop the hook or the melody and bring it to the band. He said he might occasionally come up with a bass line, but is quick to give it over to Joe as he IS the bass player and can really find the song’s groove. If I were to try an compare them, unfairly maybe, it would be to INXS/ Oasis/ Noel Gallagher’s latest solo work. Download their self-titled album, “Castlecomer,” and judge for yourself.
Much like Weathers, it was hard to see who was having more fun that night, but I can assure you the crowd would say that they did. Castlecomer hit the stage and got the crowd moving with Pop Music tracks like “If I Could Be Like You,” “Fire Alarm,” “All of the Noise:” and ”Move.” Bede even grabbed and acoustic guitar and played the ballad(ish) song “Leaving.” Look its not “More Than Words,” but it was a nice break in the set. Then came my new favorite song “Judy.” I often find a song that I call the “movie montage song” and this one is it. Think of movies where then are putting the finish touches on a plan. Maybe the remake of the “Italian Job,” maybe driving through the desert between LA and Las Vegas, or “Oceans 11/ 12/ 13,” you get the idea. It was a good song to engage with the crowd, set up the chorus and have the whole place singing along.
Bede is the face and voice of the band, but the other four are a very tight . The band is solid, and fun. Funky not cheesy, and the hooks get you moving. Plus the bass player has cool dread locks.