Concert Review: DL Rossi, Mike Mains & the Branches, The Hounds Below, and Flint Eastwood

January 18, 2014: The Loving Touch, Ferndale, Michigan

Another fantastic evening spent with great local music at The Loving Touch.

First up was DL Rossi, which was the only act I didn’t get a chance to check out before the show. His Guitar driven anthems about breakups, religion, and hope had me moving in my seat. On the slower songs, Rossi’s performance is unapologetically vulnerable at times, drawing you in and connecting you to his own experiences. After this performance and a few listens to his self-titled album, DL Rossi easily earns one of the spots on my top finds of 2014.

I was pretty excited to see Mike Mains & the Branches. Been a fan since their first album, Home, came out and pledged as soon as I found out about the campaign to make their second LP, Calm Down Everything is Fine. The stage was filled with an insane amount of energy from the moment the band started playing. Mike jumped down into the crowd to get them to sing along before hopping back onto stage to get ready for some crowd surfing. There was a great mix of songs off of both albums, including my new favorite “Noises”.

The Hounds below helped to keep the energy level up with their set. There’s a couple of  familiar faces in the band line up, Adam Michael Lee Padden of TART, one of the bands from last weekend, and Jason Stollsteimer from The Von Bondies. Much like The Killers and The Strokes, The Hounds Below’s sound is a variation of classic rock and indie which is possibly best demonstrated on their unique cover of “Where is My Mind?” (available on Jason and the Hounds Below). Their intensity was the perfect way to get the crowd ramped up for the main event.

It’s hard to describe the experience of seeing Flint Eastwood live. I believe that they are a band that you MUST see to truly appreciate just how fantastic they are. You could feel the electricity and anticipation in the air as the main lights cut out and the room was lit by the 4 small light bulbs hanging above the stage. What sounded like a recording made in the old west began playing announcing the band’s arrival. As soon as Jax Anderson took the stage, the crowd went wild, throwing their fingers into the air in the shape of pistols, the signature of the band.

When Jax takes the stage, she becomes a woman possessed. I have never seen any kind of stage presence like her’s. She throws everything that she has into every note sang causing her energy to infect the people that she is performing for. Jax doesn’t ask you to sing or dance along, she demands it and you comply without a second thought. Even when she tells everyone to get on the floor to prepare to dance like they never have, few people hesitate to do so. Mark my words when I say that these guys are going to go far.

Probably the most memorable moment of the night was when Jax talked about how she had gone through the toughest week of her life, losing her mother, and dedicated the next song (which I do not know the title of) to her. She encouraged the crowd to sing their part as loudly as possible so that her mother, the band’s biggest fan, could hear it wherever she was. Watching someone sing with so much emotion is probably one of the most moving experiences you can have. Not sure there were many dry eyes in the house as the crowd obliged Jax’s request and sang and danced their hearts out in honor of her mother.

I’m going to provide a link to Flint Eastwood’s upcoming tour dates and tell you that this is a band you need to see, you can find them on Bandsintown. I know we will try and be at the February 22 date at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor so please come hang out with us and support this amazing local band.

Check out the bands reviewed above and pick up their music:
DL Rossi: Free The Frail demo over at Noisetrade; $9.99 for his Self-titled album on iTunes
Mike Mains & the Branches: Free download of their first LP, Home on Noistrade or a physical copy from their official store for $10; Preorder their new album, Calm Down Everything is Fine on CD ($10) or Vinyl ($22)
The Hounds Below: Free download of Jason and the Hounds Below, $1 for a single of “XX” on Bandcamp; $9.90 for You Light Me Up In the Dark on iTunes; $5 for a vinyl copy of their single “Crawling Back to You”
Flint Eastwood: You can pick up their Late Nights in Bolo Ties EP on Bandcamp or iTunes