Saturday, August 27, 2016

I played the IPO last night, here's a recap.

The Scheme 2.0 played the Skylark Cafe last night as part of the International Pop Overthrow. We were slotted second on a bill with 5 other bands. Here's how it went.

First up was Jason Berk. He was solo, with an electric guitar and some hooky, melodic tunes. Really nice voice and talented guitar player. He came up from LA to play the show. I would have liked to have heard him with a full band; I'm not sure if he plays with one in LA or not, but he was really really good.

The Scheme went next and it was a blast. Getting on stage with my old pals Gregg, Brett and David was fantastic. All three guys are excellent musicians and performers and I loved all of it. We started with a song that David, Gregg and I recorded (Brett added vocals and guitar recently), called Met With The World, and booked right through it.

I was playing through a Yamaha amp that I couldn't really get dialed in. It was distorting hard and I had a hard time hearing it on stage. I was told it sounded good out front, though, so I'll just have to trust that it did.

It was a ton of fun singing David's old songs again, and playing alongside those guys. The set was over way too fast!

Following us was Stay Up, a little trio from Portland. The Navins had played with them a few months ago at the Funhouse. They were OK. I think more seasoning will do them well. They could also use a second guitarist and some backing vocals.

David and Brett's other band, the Pop Cycle, played next. They were on fire! I've seen them several times and I think it was the best they'd ever played. All songs, vocals, instruments sounded great! Jim was on point with his bass playing, and Paul was simply excellent on drums. I really enjoyed David's new songs, New Band and Comeback, as well as Brett's oldies that I remember from the Starchief days. Both David and Brett said playing in the Scheme earlier warmed them up for the PC performance.

After Pop Cycle was a quartet of hipsters called Colorworks. They had shorts on, trendy hair and glasses, and if I based it on looks alone, I would have disliked them immensely. However, as they started playing, they won me over. They were SUPER TIGHT and they were all excellent musicians. The bassist was a tiny little dude on a yellow Jazz bass, with uncomfortably short jeans shorts on, but he was a MFer on the bass and he sang great as well. The other singer played his giant hollowbody guitar right under his armpit, and he was also excellent. The entire band was great, sang impeccably and played some wonderful songs. I really liked them a lot.

Closing the night was a 5 piece with the strange name of General Mojo's. Four guys and a girl. I was gonna leave, but the frontwoman had a floor tom with Indiana Jones on it, so I had to stick around and listen.

I'm so glad I did.

Heather fronted the band, played percussion and shared vocals with the bassist (on a Thunderbird!) named Dune. They did some proggy, funky stuff and they were incredible. The band was tight, the musicianship was incredible and the harmonies were so, so sweet.

Heather and Dune had really awesome stage presence and they played off each other well. The percussion Heather added was so good and timely and really on point. Dune played bass and sang like a champ. And the rest of the band (guitar, keys/sax and drums) was simply excellent. I can't say enough about how great this band was.

It's rare that a 3 band bill has 3 great bands. In a case of 6 bands, I'd think it was even more rare. However, last night at the Skylark, David Bash of IPO did a really nice job of putting together an excellent bill. Here's hoping the next two nights are just as good.