Concert Review: Kate Myers, Empires, and Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s

April 25, 2014: The Pike Room, Pontiac

I’m a bit partial to Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s. They were one of the first non-radio bands that I had found back in the day when I finally started to expand my musical horizons. Why I hadn’t gotten out to see them perform live before is beyond me, but better late than never.

The venue was packed early so I found a spot at the back and got ready to for the evening. First up was Kate Myers, who would be joining Margot & the Nukes on stage later to play guitar. Her performances was a simple, yet beautiful acoustic set that definitely left me wanting to hear more. The first song she played was “For My Family”, off the album Introducing the Ghost which just so happens to be produced by Tyler Watkins who plays bass in Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s. The song is a sweet ode to Kate’s family and the role that they have played in influencing her life. My favorite song of her set had to be “Be Human”, which acoustically reminds me of wonderful rainy days and spring.

My only complaint about the set is that the crowd was talking so loudly that it was often difficult to hear Kate over it all. As much as I push for people to show up for the opening acts, I would also say that if you just came to hang out and chat with friends maybe you shouldn’t show up until the band you want to see goes on (end rant).

What I could hear of Kate’s set enticed me enough to make a trip to the merch booth and pick up 2 of her albums. Thankfully her husband was running the table and gave me some great advice as to which albums I should pick up. I have yet to listen to them completely, but I know from the songs I could hear over the crowd that I’ll definitely enjoy them.

There were a lot of Empires fans in the crowd and it was easy to see why once they took the stage. Sean Van Vleet’s voice sounds a lot like Brandon Flowers and at times the band’s sound is reminiscent of Sam’s Town era tracks from The Killers. The band focused on songs from their upcoming album but they made sure to sneak in some fan favorites that got the crowd singing along. I’m definitely adding Empires to the list of bands I need to see again.

Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s took the stage diving into “Hello, San Francisco”, which is from their new album, Slingshot to Heaven. I was left wondering, once again, why I hadn’t gotten out to see these guys sooner. Their live sound is so clean and made me fall more in love with each song that they played. The band had the lights turned off so that the only lighting in the room was the projection that they had set up. Unfortunately the space is too small to be able to see what the images were, but it still created a great atmosphere to experience Margot & the Nukes.

While the band focused the first part of their set on their new album, the latter half was filled with fan favorites. Richard Edwards’ vocals were drowned out for almost the entirety of the song “Skeleton Key” by the crowd singing as loudly as they could. The guys chose to forgo having to walk off the stage before the encore which meant that they could play a song or two more. The evening was closed with “Barfight Revolution, Power Violence”, which just happens to be one of my favorites.

The concert was well worth the wait and I definitely won’t be missing Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s again.