let me start out by saying that i'm only review two of the three bands that were actually on the bill. i missed the headliner because i was getting a little tired and didn't want to fall asleep on the drive back from visalia.
this was the first show i've seen at the cellar door, and i like the venue. it's a nice, wide open space, although the stage/dance floor sort of dominates it. if you're not up on the floor, you're looking up @ the bands, which isn't a problem unless it's packed and that area is full and you're not on it.
rademacher opened the show, and malcolm said that the 9:30 time slot was the earliest he'd ever played at the cellar door. ah, the joys of opening. i thought rademacher started their set very well. the first few songs had me enthralled enough that i tweeted "rademacher sounding nice at the cellar door right now." and i meant it, the sound was real nice, the band was playing with good energy. i was really starting to believe a theory i had about rademacher playing stellar shows outside of fresno. and then malcolm flubbed the lyrics to "if u got some magic." and rademacher's set sort of had an ebb and flow of goodness after that. some songs sounded nice and had me loving it, others dragged. i have really enjoyed the addition of jonathan hadden, and i think he is getting more comfortable in the band and is adding to the rademacher sound. the last show i saw, at tokyo garden, really rocked and i think jonathan was a big part of that. tonight, he seemed a litle lacking, and his solo on their newer song lacked. but, i really like that song and want to keep hearing it. one last thing, malcolm on the keyboard: i don't mind it, but it seems to distract him from singing & playing bass. maybe put the keyboard right in front so it doesn't have to be a big transition between playing it and singing. or maybe get a keyboard player?
these united states - i dug these guys, but don't have quite as much input for them because i haven't heard them as much as rademacher. these guys hail from washington, dc and kentucky, although i'm not exactly sure how that works. but, they have a sort of alt-country sound that definitely feels more kentucky than dc. the music had a lot of layers, but that should be expected when you have 3 guitars, a bass and drums. and, one of the guitar players worked a lap slide for quite a bit of the show, which was a nice sound. from the band side, the only issue i had was that the lead singer seemed to mumble his lyrics quite a bit, as well as some of the between song banter and it was a bit difficult to understand. on the cellar door side, there was a lot of feedback during this set, and i know the sound guy was working his hardest to eliminate the squeal but it persisted long enough to be a bit of a distraction to the set.
overall, i enjoyed the show, even if i didn't stay for the main act. the cellar door is a pretty cool spot. i continue to enjoy rademacher's music and hope they continue to work on their sound. and, i'm going to have to look on emusic and itunes for these united states - shoulda bought an album from them last night.