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

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.

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Rudimental at U St Music Hall

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Saumya Gulati: Rudimental’s concert was interesting right off the bat because there were no openers. I liked the idea that if you’re going to see Rudimental, that’s exactly what you’re going to get—nothing more and nothing less. That being said, we did have to wait close to an hour for them to come out and there was an awkward vibe because people didn’t know what to do with themselves. Some people were awkwardly bobbing their heads up and down while others stood around and there was a group of guys raging to the background music. Despite an awkward wait while the band hadn’t arrived yet, you could still tell that the crowd was hyped.

Si Chen: Rudimental definitely knew how to create an entrance. After flashing lights and tribal rhythms gave way to darkness and an almost military fanfare (not unlike Vampire Weekend’s setup), they filed onto U St Music Hall’s small stage. Their live performance was much larger than the original quartet–featuring two female vocalists, another male vocalist, trumpet, drums, a synth and a keyboard, guitar, and a talkbox. Once they came on stage, they started the concert with “Give You Up”, creating a very R&B vibe that continued throughout the concert. They spanned several different genres, which would have been difficult to tie together, but the R&B quality of the singer’s voices and the familiar DnB rhythm tied the atmosphere together nicely.

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San Fermin at DC9

San Fermin
This rad photo was not taken by the author. Photo credit to the band.

Although San Fermin is often described as falling under the incredibly vague and often misleading genre “baroque-pop”, their sound is much more expansive than the narrow scope encapsulated by the phrase. Flowing through their album Thursday night, San Fermin put on an almost operatic performance as they lead the crowd through their concept album (eponymously named San Fermin), which follows a melodramatic male character and an aloof female character through discussions of their relationship, hitting both notes of wistfulness and freneticism. Written by contemporary classical composer, Ellis Ludwig-Leone, the album utilizes his background to tell a lush musical story of the insecurities faced in relationships while the live performance is an ultimately cathartic experience. Continue reading “San Fermin at DC9”

EDM Anthropological Adventures with Si, Jordan, and Flux Pavilion at Echostage

Flux Pavilion performing "The Scientist"
Flux Pavilion performing “The Scientist”

Jordan: So what about that concert, huh? That was quite a, how to put this, social and cultural experience. I have never been in an environment where I’ve felt so out of place wearing jeans and a t-shirt to a concert.

Si: I have never seen so many gluteus maximii (AKA butt cheeks) in one place in my life. I can’t imagine going somewhere in a bra, underwear, and fuzzy boots. I’m 110% not about that PLUR life.

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