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Sound Stage

Band Bombshell Birthday


Dustin Smith performing at Vaudeville Mews on March 14.

Dustin Smith performing at Vaudeville Mews on March 14.

Local music blog Band Bombshell celebrated its one-year anniversary at Vaudeville Mews last Thursday with a show that featured three local acts: Gloom Balloon, Dustin Smith and The Sunday Silos and Volcano Boys.

I’ll admit: I don’t get everything that Patrick Tape Fleming and Chris Ford do. When the former is fronting The Poison Control Center and the latter is performing as Christopher the Conquered, I like their stuff. Both performers can be entertaining, creative and engaging, but Gloom Balloon (officially just Fleming, joined on stage by Ford as a special guest) is something different. Both Ford and Fleming have always been part musician and part performance artist. The split’s usually around 60/40, which will vary on any given night. But Gloom Balloon crosses that line from “I’m avant-garde” to “you just paid to watch me mess around for half an hour.”

Dustin Smith and The Sunday Silos, on the other hand, are a no-doubt-about-it musical act, and they turned in an outstanding performance. Smith and vocalist Paige Harpin harmonize beautifully, and the five-piece was the highlight of the evening. The group’s set featured a number of songs off its 2012 release, “Northerner,” and as a live experience, the band excels.

Volcano Boys finished out the night, and it was my first experience with the band. Featuring two-thirds of Des Moines act Wolves in the Attic (guitarist Eric Moffitt and drummer Trent Derby), Volcano Boys’ sound is not dissimilar. The biggest difference between the two bands is in the vocals: Wolves’ front man Moffitt gives way to Jordan Mayland in Volcano Boys. Joined by bassist Tom Reneker, Volcano Boys is highly reminiscent of mid ’90s alt acts and helped close the night out on a strong note. CV

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