Opener Review: Craft Spells, Juan Wauters, Trump Weeds at the Rock & Roll Hotel

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Craft Spells, Juan Wauters
Photos by Juan Wauters, Craft Spells.

Opening for Crystal Stilts at the Rock & Roll Hotel were three bands that brought an interesting and diverse mix of music to the table.

The Rock & Roll Hotel was filled….with all of 10 people to listen to Trump Weeds, a band that has only recorded a single song. Despite the moderately empty room, the band grooved on, not minding the lack of an audience one bit. The young trio was there for the music and no more. You could feel that it was just one of those lets-jam-and-make-some-music-even-if-the-room-is-empty kind of performances–simple and solid.

With his solo vintage act, Juan Wauters seemed to be an Uruguayan mix of Johnny Cash and a darker Ritchie Valens. Although it definitely wasn’t a perfect performance on his part, to his credit, he filled the venue with his sound, sporting only a classical guitar and an aging amp. After a few songs, however, the sound seemed to melt together and sounded like one very long song. Nonetheless, his confident and atypical performance stood out from the seemingly endless stream of indie and alternative rock made it an act worth its while.

The last of 3 openers, with a decent sized fan-base of its own, Craft Spells was well worth its own show. With layers of soothing and dreamy yet grounded music, these guys know how to connect with their audience. The energy generated by the 5 man group seemed to flow seamlessly to the audience. Craft Spells was in step with its music. Crafty, well thought out tunes danced from every song on the set, often giving off a 70’s airy vibe paired with a 21st century style. Each song was a musical journey, complex enough to keep you interested, but simple enough to chill you out. Craft Spells did seem to craft their own spells that night, taking their audience on a colorful and alluring adventure.

From the simple, humble, and solid Trump Weeds to the atypical Juan Wauters to the catchy and captivating Craft Spells, these openers were well worth a show on their own.

–Anour Alexander Esa

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