Friday, January 19, 2007

The Upwelling @ Mercury Lounge

When I started this strange musical adventure, the first band that I really became attached to was The Upwelling. Three years has passed and a lot has changed. I've found myself making a living chasing after indie bands, writing about them, and each day I become less embarrassed over that fact. The first time I ever saw The Upwelling, I was too young to get into Mercury Lounge and had to coerce the bouncer to let me in. I told him I was a legit journalist. Ah, the humanity.

So I was a bit nostalgic walking back into Mercury Lounge last night, legally and comfortably, a place I've spent countless nights seeing too many bands. And while I myself have changed a lot over the past three years, The Upwelling takes the cake.

Their set last night was a non-stop showcase of what The Upwelling has come to be -- real performers. I give a lot of flak to bands with a shtick, warning them against becoming known as a novelty act. With a blackened stage and an odd recorded introduction, I was nervous that my once-loved local band had jumped the shark. Now donning much longer hair and interesting fashion choices, The Upwelling is far from the band I once knew. But I wouldn't let my preconceived judgments get in the way. What I loved first and foremost about this band was their music, so with ears wide open I gave them an honest chance.

Like their self-titled EP of yesteryear, their live show does not allow for a break. I loved that. To a packed crowd at Mercury last night, each song melded seamlessly into the next, keeping the crowd interested and intrigued at just where they might go next. The old favorites that I have come to know so well were brought to a whole new level, with Ari wailing his guitar like a true hero. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what their sound has evolved into. The stylings of Pink Floyd have become more prevalent, while there's a certain dark 80's electropop mixed in there as well. Last night they opted for more upbeat numbers. While I'll always prefer their romantic ballads, I understood the choice.

When it comes down to it, you have to let bands change and discover their sound. Us lonely bloggers/journalists can't really do much about the directions they choose. You can either sit in your apartment behind a blank computer screen and pout until the pint is empty, or you can understand the reasoning and accept change. Because when it comes down to it, especially in The Upwelling's case, there is undeniable talent and drive. They have something. I can't wait to see what another three years will bring.

Here's a newbie that was played last night that I'm liking more each time I hear it. Check out more tracks on their myspace.

  • The Upwelling - Love Is Dead

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