St. Valentine's Day Massacre - The Sail Inn - 2/14/14

St. Valentine's Day Massacre The Sail Inn 2/14/14

There is a stark contrast between the playing styles of Field Tripp's Dan Allmond and Brandon Decker. To wit: Decker appears to be a driven perfectionist looking to squeeze every bit of soul out of each note, while Allmond seems content as long as there is music in the air, more so if he happens to be the one making it.

And though their personal styles may clash, their music most certainly does not. For Valentine's Day, the two groups laid it down at The Sail Inn with a co-headlining performance during their dual release party Friday night.

Allmond even got to pull double duty, playing lead guitar and singing lead in Field Tripp before joining decker. to play lead guitar as well.

Tripp was the first of the two headliners to take the stage, going on about 10:45 p.m. on The Sail Inn's outdoor stage. On the new EP, Les Is Mormon, their first release since 2011, Allmond plays all the instruments except drums on one track. In concert, the band is a local supergroup, featuring David Cooper of Snake! Snake! Snakes! on drums and Jess Pruitt of The Shivereens on bass.

Field Tripp played the entire six-song EP in order and added three tracks that Allmond hopes to release this year -- "Casablanca," "Something Silver," and "What'd You Say." They really nailed it from start to finish, bringing to life the acid rock sound that Allmond has been looking for, and Allmond knew it, the crowd knew it, and each knew that each other knew it.

It was an awesomely intimate setting on the outdoor stage. Not to say that the turnout was not good; it just was not huge. Field Tripp seemed to find that happy middle ground between packed house and crickets chirping, so the show seemed both live and rocking and innately personal at the same time.

decker. followed Field Tripp on the inside stage, but before they began their set, Marc Norman of KWSS' The Morning Infidelity and Matty Steinkamp of Sundawg Media participated in "the battle of the Frank Sinatras," during which each covered a song by the chairman of the board with decker. playing the music.

If there had been a best-dressed band contest, decker. would have won handedly. Decker himself kept it classy with a white tuxedo shirt and black suspenders, while percussionist and backup singer and drumstick guitar player Kelly Cole rocked a stunning red and black pinstripe dress.

They opened with "Speak in Tongues," off their brilliant 2013 LP Slider and kept a good portion of the set to songs from that release, save the newly released single "Cellars." Unfortunately for Decker, he had mid-set technical issues with his guitar mid set, which put the perfectionist on edge from which he claim he "never recovered."

The Sedona-based songwriter, with a look that is half preacher, half cowboy was most likely the harshest critic of his own performance. But the audience just seemed happy to spend Valentine's Day with one of the most interesting-sounding bands around.

Whether he impressed himself or not, Decker had the room mostly packed for the entirety of his hour-long set, and the cheers of the crowd were certainly not muffled by guitar issues.

Washington-based Terrible Buttons opened the show, followed by Sister Lip, who were joined by alternative rapper TKLB?, and then The Haymarket Squares, who put on a tremendous set. Says Allmond, "They had to play inside so they don't outshine anybody!"

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Jeff Moses
Contact: Jeff Moses