Concert Review: Lights & Caves, Parade of Lights, Chappo, and Royal Teeth

March 3, 2014: The Pike Room, Pontiac, Michigan

To be honest I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Perhaps it’s due to this never ending winter we’ve been experiencing (seriously starting to forget what grass smells and feels like). This coupled with a few stressful weeks at work has made getting out of bed in the morning one of the hardest things to do lately.

Thankfully I had a couple of concerts lined up to help raise my spirits a bit. I got to see a great show with a bunch of fantastic bands on Friday (you can read the review here) and was counting down the minutes Monday night until I got to be free from work and venture out to The Pike Room for another evening with some talented musicians.

Lansing based foursome Lights & Caves took the stage first. It was nice to see a good turnout for this local(ish) band. The guys opened their set with “Manchy”, the opening track of their album, In Satori. It was a great way to start the night and definitely a great way for me to completely forget all my stress. There are a lot of indie rock outfits out there, so many in fact that they all just kind of start to blend together. Lights & Caves stands out because they put a lot of passion into their work. They clearly love what they do and appreciate each person that has shown them support. The band debuted their new song, “Ghost”, and it definitely helped me get excited for new music. The song showcases some well crafted, haunting lyrics over the group’s usual pristine guitar and drum work. Lights & Caves may be a young band, but they are definitely on the cusp of great things.

I had tried to check out Parade of Lights before going to the show, but they only had 2 songs on Google Music, but that was enough to get me hooked. Now, lead singer Ryan Daly mentioned that the band had been sick for a few days but honestly I don’t know if I can believe him. I mean, when I get sick all I can manage to do is lie in my bed in a Nyquil induced haze. I can’t even imagine climbing onto a stage and performing a high energy pop-tastic show for 30 minutes. They debuted their Golden EP in it’s entirety making me very happy that they had some copies available at their merch table. It was an amazing set and Jaci and I had a wonderful conversation with Ryan and Anthony Improgo which was a great way to end our evening. You can read Jaci’s review of their EP and follow the links below to pre-order it.

Psychedelic indie rock group, Chappo, took the stage next. The band has gotten some well deserved attention for their single, “Come Home”, and I was excited to get to see them perform live. Chappo infuses the classic rock sound of the 60’s and 70’s with modern day indie to create their own unique brand of music. Front man Alex Chappo seems to channel Jim Morrison and Mick Jagger at times as he uses his music to create a fantasy land filled with spacey and flowing instrumentations. He really likes to get the crowd involved by handing out some confetti sticks to put to use and jumping down to dance with everyone. It’s a strange but fantastic experience and I’m still finding confetti in my pockets.

I had given Royal Teeth‘s album, Glow, a listen and while it was a fine album, it was a bit too sweet for my taste. Seeing them live definitely opened me up a bit more to their music. To say that they are high energy is an understatement. First of all, there is basically a drum on stage for each member of the band and they are put to use on just about every song. Singer / guitarist Gary Larsen jumps around the stage like a kid who just ate all his Halloween candy in one sitting. His energy is contagious making it impossible to resist the energetic draw of the music. That energy paired with their eagerness to get to know their fans made me appreciate their music a lot more.

All in all it was a fantastic night spent with some very talented artists. The lively performances helped me remember that the snow is going to last and that spring is (hopefully) right around the corner.

Support Good Music:
Lights & Caves: You can name your price for “Carry Me Home” and “Run” on Bandcamp and grab their album, In Satoriover on their site.
Parade of Lights: Pick up their singles, “We’re the Kids” and “Golden” on iTunes or pre-order the Golden EP on their official site.
Chappo: All of Chappo’s music is available on iTunes or pick up Petite Plastique (Moonwater B-Sides)Plastique Universe II and Plastique Universe over at Bandcamp.
Royal Teeth: You can get a 3 song sampler or the full albumGlow, on Bandcamp.