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Odd Fellows Hall // Davis, CA // February 22
On an exceptionally freezing Tuesday night in California’s Central Valley, two of today’s most exciting indie rock groups guaranteed to heat things up. The fourth and final show of the Odd Fellows’ winter concert series, sponsored by Davis indie venue Sophia’s, featured two headliners: Raleigh, NC’s The Love Language and Seattle’s Telekinesis.
This show was only The Love Language’s third with their new bassist, Nicholas Sanborn. But judging by his body language – onstage-smiling, locking eyes and rhythms with each of his new band mates – one would assume he’s been with the group since the start. There’s no doubt these five musicians naturally mesh well, each fueled by the group’s collective intensity: take the sweat on the face of drummer Jordan McLamb, who was already dripping on his cymbals three songs in. How about the rapid, cathartic strumming of lead guitarist BJ Burton, or the compelling vocal harmonies of keyboardist Missy Thangs? And if these aren’t clear enough signs, take frontman Stuart McLamb, who played so fiercely throughout that he broke strings on two different guitars.
The Love Language set a high-octane atmosphere for Telekinesis, a power pop trio consisting of Michael Benjamin Lerner, Cody Votolato (formerly of The Blood Brothers) on guitar and ex-Verbow frontman Jason Narducy on bass. Not even the flu could throw off Lerner’s solid sense of time on drums and lead vocals, throwing down on favorites like “Awkward Kisser” and “Car Crash.” One audience member noticed writing on the head of Lerner’s floor tom, and asked him what it said. “It’s our set list,” Lerner responded. “It’s the same every night.” While some bands might grow tired of nightly repetition, Telekinesis uses this method to forge seamless segues and fresh takes on their studio recordings, honing a well-crafted live performance.