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Sound Stage

Christopher the Conquered played the Gas Lamp on Saturday, Dec. 29.

1/2/2013

Soundstage 010313As some of you might be aware, I had a birthday over the weekend. It was actually Dec. 30, but since nobody likes to party on a Sunday, I threw together a show at Gas Lamp on Dec. 29. The White Elephant, Viva Montesa, Christopher the Conquered and Mumfords all took their 45 minutes on stage, and all four acts played their hearts out.               

For as long as I’ve known them, the one knock against The White Elephant has been that its music is really good, but the guys have never been the most scintillating live act. Between the last time I saw the band (July) and now, it has made great strides in that regard. Whether it’s been a conscious effort or just the result of playing more live shows together is immaterial, because the result is still a band that was livelier on stage and more engaged with the crowd.                

Nobody’s ever accused Viva Montesa of not engaging its audience. Gary and Ted banter easily, carry themselves well and — oh, yeah — play some truly excellent rock-n-roll. Saturday’s performance was marked by some technical issues on the band’s end. A gimpy amp hummed its way through the set, which either served to distract from the quality of the songs or enhanced the bands dirty, DIY-garage feel, depending on your point of view.             

Christopher the Conquered and Mumfords are two sides of the same coin. The acts share the same record label, carry the same philosophy and even share members. Chris Ford and Nate Lodgson bring a unique passion and energy to everything they do, and when given a large crowd that’s buying what they’re selling — as was the case on Saturday — the results are powerful and impressive to behold. CV

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