Port O’Brien started my night off with a strong set. All four members of the band contributed to the vocal lines, sometimes all at once in Modest Mouse-reminiscent shout-singing. One of the members played a banjo, which added a countrified element to their sound. In addition to the Modest Mouse-type sound, they reminded me of the Driftless Pony Club, whom I also thoroughly enjoy. Unfortunately, some of the members were underage, so they had to head outside to their van afterwards inside of hanging around in the venue.
Next up was Rogue Wave, and wow. I was having one of those nights where lots of other things were on my mind, such as work and sleep, so I didn’t expect to get that much out of this show. Thank god I was wrong. The band put on a wonderful show that hit all the right emotional buttons. The first half of their set was especially powerful, as it was composed of songs from their new album, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate. This is the album that I am most familiar with, as I got it a few weeks ago and haven’t really stopped listening since. “Lake Michigan” was great, but it was really “Chicago x 12” that hit me at my core. Maybe it was listening to Zach tell Halloran earlier in the day on FM 94.9 that the song was about having a really bad day, a day that you will compare all future bad days to, and I had just had one of those recently. Whatever it was, it worked.