...Music Connection’s annual list of unsigned LIVE performers who showed us something special onstage during the past year. Contributors to this list are not only MC staffers and freelance writers, but club bookers, music attorneys and other industry pros nationwide. MC currently has reviewers in Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Detroit.
IS THERE A PARTICULAR SHOW OR EXPERIENCE THAT STANDS OUT FOR YOU AS A BAND?————————————Shadow: The last two shows were pretty phenomenal, actually. The last West Side Revival show was killer. There were so many people there and Enigma saw some people that we didn’t know singing the lyrics of our songs. That’s a nice indicator that we’re making the proper steps.Enigma: Things happened at the last couple shows that hadn’t happened before and not only that but it was two shows in a row so it felt really good, it felt special. You know, you can play all sorts of shows and you can do certain things to excite the crowd and people won’t react, but at the last several shows we would do something like Shadow has an electronic drum kit that he’d sweep into with a filter. I remember that happening and somebody in the audience going ‘Woaaaaahhh’ and someone else, ‘Yeahhhhh’. That happened both shows. People were tapped in and dancing their asses off the whole time.Mojo: That’s another thing about this band: it’s the first band I’ve been in where people dance to the music and it’s awesome. This is how rock music should work, guys. People who are at their first show of ours, too. We’re pretty high energy on stage. Even if there’s nobody in the room, we’ll still be high energy, and then when the audience is also high energy, it’s just cyclical, it keeps building.
Westerner took the stage by storm, they were extremely captivating with a lot of jumping and movement all set-long, while the music brought a lot of things in mind at the same time, from ’70s psychedelia to funk. Their first song exploded in many directions while frontman Cooper Bombadil was constantly stomping and leaping, and because of his tall stature, the vision of one of his jumps was quite spectacular. He invited us to dance, because ‘Reptilians can’t dance and the more we dance the less reptilians we are’ and the rest of the set adopted a much more danceable vibe, with plenty of funky bass textures and disco falsettos. There were a lot of pop hooks in their layered songs, building high-energy atmospheric music which have been compared to Pink Floyd or Massive Attack. If none of these bands came to my mind when they were playing, the quartet still made a strong impression because of their musicianship, inventive music and strong stage confidence. The funkier they got, the more theatrical they were, with crashing grooves by guitarist Javier Olmedo, bassist Brandon Valerino and drummer Mike Gattshall who was hiding behind a mysterious mask during the entire time. Bombadil’s delivery even flirted with rap at one point, before accelerating into a wild and distorted stomp at the end. Their first album, ‘Unreal City’, is a sci-fi rock opera mixing pop with all kinds of sonic elements, which can explain the challenge to describe their music.
Every single act on our annual Hot 100 list of unsigned live performers delivered something special onstage this year. Nominations to this list...came from MC staffers as well as freelance writers, club bookers, A&R reps, music attorneys and other industry pro’s nationwide. Music Connection currently has show reviewers in Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, Boston, and Detroit.
...they seem to have appeared from nowhere to emerge as one of the best bands in Los Angeles.
“The Annual Music Connection Hot 100 puts the spotlight on superior unsigned live performers across the U.S....Contributors to this list are not only MC staffers and freelance writers, but club bookers and other industry pro’s nationwide. Music Connection currently has reviewers in Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Boston and Detroit.”