ANR caught my ears as I was shuffling through the many of the unknown acts (to me) that would be part of a showcase. They impressed me so much that they made my Top 5 acts to see down here. Well at The Firehouse, an unofficial showcase, I was able to catch their brief set. It can be summed up in three words, did not disappoint. I am so glad I made the choice to see these guys in this small bar before they move on to the big time stages. After a prolonged wait for set up these guys drew the crowd into a dance frenzy. Informing the crowd that it was okay to dance since they are from Miami and that is what they do there. I was thrilled to hear a live version of what in my opinion is their most popular song " It's Around You". It translated to a live show perfectly. I was also surprised to hear a new song that showed growth while not straying from the sound that keeps them unique and relevant. I see only great things in the future for these guys.
I was able to catch the band Black Taxi before ANR's set, and prior to this afternoon I had not heard of them. Once catching wind that they would be playing I did a quick google to see what I was getting myself into. Getting the impression that they were a lively dance group was not far off from the real thing. A little more funk then at first suspected but the house party dance friendly vibe was there as well. Having fans in the crowd sure helped encourage the rambunctious mood and only egg on the already hyper front man. Are these guys a good toe tapping time? Yes, without a doubt, but I'm not too confident that they will be headlining shows just yet. In a showcase format they are a great addition but I'm curious to see what they do next.
Joe Pug is a favorite of mine and I am proud to say I have been a fan for many years. Having seen Joe in many different venues this tops them all, sound wise and overall performance. Joe is one of the few musicians I would stay awake to see at 1am after having been up for 21 hours, but I'm so glad I did. He played us a few new songs off his soon to be released album The Great Despiser and I have a feeling this will be the album that makes Joe Pug a household name.