Lower Dens, Secret Mountains, Weekends at Subterranean A

On Wednesday night I was treated to yet another solid show at Subterranean A, and it was probably the biggest venture yet, with a bill of Lower Dens, Secret Mountains and Weekends, Baltimore power invading D.C. By the time Lower Dens took over the corner of the basement, the place was packed and moving was not an option. So I stood and listened and was blown away set after set.

Weekends brought their high-energy punk jams to the basement first, and impressed me greatly. I caught them back at the Cherch in September, but wasn’t paying too much attention. Being front and center on Wednesday, I could take in everything the duo was doing. I love how the guitar riffs are able to fill a space despite the fact that it’s only one guitar. “Raingirls” is a quality song, and the band’s performance of “Psychedelic Mice” was top notch as well:

Up next was Secret Mountains, who I had heard some buzz about through the local blogosphere, and I was excited to see them. The music had a bit of a psych element, and there was so much going on with all the instruments, making it a very entrancing watch. My only qualm is that the vocals had a little trouble staying high in the mix, but when they did, they were crisp and added to the mix. Another problem for me was not knowing any of the songs — going to have to fix that before I see them again.

Finally, it was Lower Dens. I saw the four-piece at the beginning of January at the Kennedy Center in D.C., and that was an incredibly professional and swanky event. Then I saw them in a basement. It was an incredible lesson in contrast, but in both environments the band was able to bring it. Playing a selection of songs off of Twin Hand Movement coupled with other tracks from various 7″s and other releases, the band was able to showcase what they do, despite an almost constant drone of feedback on one of the microphones and a crowd that seemed content on chatting the night away. Overall though, it was a really cool set, and something has to be said about being on the same level and being so close to the band. Check it out in this video for “Batman”:

Again, Subterranean A is incredibly rad, and check it out when you get the chance. Any of the shows there will be quality, but I’ll be waiting to see who they can bring in to top Wednesday night’s bill.

–Daniel

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