Vagabond Gods @ Rogue Bar|2/2/13
For a band like Vagabond Gods, Rogue Bar is the perfect place: rough around the edges, obscure, uh, rogue. As we've talked about before, lead singer/screamer and guitarist Bryant Vazquez also divides his time between three other projects.
First, there's Sedona's decker., where Vazquez plays bass, saying he's found a "musical counterpart" in Brandon. Then, there's Murdoch, played with Flagstaff locals and Vazquez's roommates, who also opened for this show. Vazquez also does solo material under his own name and finally, there's Vagabond Gods, a two-piece with Chris Vazquez, Bryant's older brother.
Them Savages opened up the night, which acted as an EP release for Vagabond Gods. But lead singer Ben Velazco announced "my voice is fucked" so they only played two songs. That was OK, however, because that just meant Murdoch took over -- the Vazquezs, Velazco and Joshua Be simply switched instruments, playing hits off last year's 100 Beers EP.
Murdoch started off with "Kneel" and "Velvet," but for "Skull Like A Swamp," Velazco tried singing again. I don't know what his voice sounds like normally, but it sounded good and reminded me how hard singing is. How Vazquez's voice isn't fucked up is beyond me. Next up was Field Tripp, who have improved greatly since I first saw them at Lost Leaf almost a year ago. The clarinet versus the didgeridoo is one weird, awesome touch. I could dig it. Their sound has taken a more shoegaze approach than I recall, so I was thinking of My Bloody Valentine and their new album and how their site crashed and I haven't gotten to listen to it yet. I think that's a good evocation.
When Vagabond Gods came on, they gave out some more CDs, each stenciled with a picture of the album cover. DIY at it's best, I suppose. The Vazquez Brothers (which could also be their band name, if it isn't taken, ha) kicked into "Tonnage," a mixture of Nirvana and AC/DC. "Are we too loud?" Bryant asked. "Too bad."
Next, they played "Yeah, Yeah" which is a perfect bad breakup song. "You're not fooling anyone / especially yourself."
"This next song is about whiskey," Bryant said. It must have been "Sour Mash" then! The perfect antisocial drinking song (but in a good way.) Then, they cut into "Suicide Blonde," which Bryant told me was inspired by a bad relationship and the movie 23. Vagabond Gods ended their set with "Turkish," which is one helluva an album opener. It turns out, it's also a really great note to end on.
I couldn't stick around for Snake! Snake! Snakes! Because things happened and stuff and oh well. But I did see them last week at some rained-out gig on Roosevelt Row and they're all alive, they still play really well, and I'm sure I'll be seeing them again soon.
Tonight was a good night. My ears are ringing for a good reason.
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Last Night: Vagabond Gods, Snake! Snake! Snakes!, Murdoch, Them Savages, Field Tripp. The Crowd: Pretty scattered, pretty tough. Roughly half the folks were either in bands, the other half I wouldn't want to get in a fight with. Overheard: "Yeah, I definitely don't have the lung capacity for THAT." Personal Bias: I swear I'm not partial to Bryant or anything, he's only the musician I'm most familiar with at this show, but he is kind of prolific and stuff.