Tonight, three eager bands have their turn at sharing their music with the Crescent Ballroom audience. The Echo Bombs, Fairy Bones, and Green Line Operator try their hand at captivating the crowd and establishing themselves within the Phoenix music scene.
The opening band is The Echo Bombs which is garage surf band with punk female vocals. Fronted by Cecilia Olea, The Echo Bombs bring a raw energy to the stage through Olea’s punchy vocals and rock star presence. Distorted surf guitar solos, catchy rhythms, and fierce vocals classify their music. Tonight’s performance is The Echo Bombs’ first time playing at Crescent Ballroom and consequently, it shows. The Echo Bombs command the audience’s attention while they are playing, but the silence between the songs loses the crowd. Other uneasiness ensues, for instance, at one point the guitarist knocks over an amp and scrambles to pick it back up. When asked about the awkwardness within the set, Olea comments, “[It was] excitement, if anything.” The music that they play is worth listening to and I have faith that they will work out the kinks before their next show.
The next band to play is Fairy Bones. Fairy Bones is a four piece band fronted by powerhouse vocalist, Chelsy Louise. Louise’s vocals boast an impressive range with unique inflections which suits the harder indie rock group. She is a natural performer who doesn’t have to force it and the rest of the band is conscious enough to let her take center stage. Unfortunately, Louise competes for center stage tonight with a female artist the band brought onstage to do a painting. Louise explains that she was trying to “have another way to show expression.” A cool idea in theory, but bringing an overtly sexual artist to the set provides distraction. Fairy Bones shouldn’t have to rely on gimmicks; they are talented enough performers to stand alone on their music. For being together for only 7 months, the group listens well to each other and is very precise during the set. I am looking forward to seeing them perform sans painter.
The headliner, Green Line Operator, provides a fun atmosphere for the audience. They are a three piece indie rock band with influences from Weezer and other late 90s pop rock bands. With a soulful vocalist, hard-hitting drummer, and witty bassist, Green Line Operator truly sells their music. Simply, the band presents their music and is having a blast doing so. The exuberance coming from them is contagious and before long, everyone in the crowd is on board. They don’t take themselves too seriously which is evident in their cover song medley which ends with the ritualistic smashing of a Styrofoam guitar. Lead singer Desert Muserelli (yes, that’s his real name) describes his songwriting, “Sometimes it’ll come from life experience and sometimes it’ll come from a really sad episode of Futurama or something.” The songs are simple, down to earth melodies. Green Line Operator’s musicians interact with each other not only as band mates, but as best friends. Muserelli identifies the group’s goal as, “To play more shows like this and get more people to come out and have a good time and watch us be goofballs on stage.”
Three bands discover tonight that even with solid music, a solid performance has to sell it to an unfamiliar crowd. All three possess the potential to be standouts in Phoenix and must make the most out of every opportunity given.
Image Credit: Casey Peters