It was a Thursday night in the midst of midterms. As I went to see the highly-anticipated Box Elders show at The Union, I realized the members of the crowd were going to be few and far between, many people busy tending to their school-related responsibilities. C'est la vie, I was determined to party hard.
The show opened with in Silent Movies, a newly-formed band led by Josh Landis, a well- known, Athens-bred singer/songwriter. Their soft, folky sound in songs like “Japanese Beetle” was perfect for opening the night.
Seascapes, another a new band made up of former members of Russenorsk and Spooktober were next. They kept the good feeling going with their catchy hooks and early-punk sounding rifts.
Soon after, Box Elders was up -- finally! I had no idea what to expect when the three –piece, mismatched band from Nebraska took the stage, but within minutes of starting their set everyone in the crowd was dancing. Box Elders pumped out an upbeat, get-your-feet-moving sound that made even the sleepy doorman perk up. Whether it was alcohol-induced craziness or kids just trying to shake off the cold weather blues, Box Elders was the perfect excuse to let loose.
I watched as everyone laughed and danced and it appeared the guys from Box Elders were enjoying themselves as well. Danny Goldberg, the drummer and organ player, was mind blowing as he switched from one instrument to the other, sometimes playing them simultaneously. He stood up while playing -- an obviously off-kilter sight for a drummer -- and hit his maraca against his cymbal before throwing it into the crowd, just missing an innocent bystander.
Clayton McIntyre, the bassist, flung his long locks while singing their garage-rock, perfectly chaotic songs with his brother Jeremiah.
The night ended with The Red Army, who changed the vibe from pop beats to politics. As the bars on Court St. began to empty out, the boys of The Red Army continued to play well into the night as the crowd sang along to songs such as “Hey” and “Washington” off their album Tomorrow’s Unforgiving Sun. Former tour mates of Jay Reatard and currently pursuing a world tour of their own, I was not surprised that Box Elders had an awesome show. In fact, it was better than I even imagined and just what all these stuffy-nosed, summer-nostalgic students needed.
-Erica Euse, ACRN Contributor
Photo credit: The Red Army's MySpace page