Good neighbor policy6/19/2013
Saturday at Gas Lamp was an evening highlighted by two Iowa bands with an awful lot in common. Dylan Sires and Neighbors and Holy White Hounds are both purveyors of high-energy, pop-infused rock, they are both power trios (live anyway; Holy White Hounds is officially listed as a duo) and they are both headed by ridiculously charismatic front men.
After a rousing opening set by Sioux Falls, S.D., four-piece Amos Slade, Dylan Sires and Neighbors kicked things off for the Iowa contingent. With his 1950s-infused style and on-stage energy, the titular Dylan Sires reminds me of a young Chris Issak. The Waterloo trio — comprised of Sires, bassist Graham Howard and drummer Ross Klemz — was certainly the poppiest of the three bands Saturday night, which served as a nice palate cleanser between the straight rock offerings of the opener and headliner. Dylan Sires and Neighbors is in the midst of the rolling release of its newest album, “No One,” and its set was heavy with songs from the album. “Pictures of You” may have been the strongest offering of the evening, but from beginning to end the set was tight and polished.
The evening’s main event was Holy White Hounds, and the Des Moines rockers continue to be one of the city’s most underrated acts. Front man Brenton Dean and bassist Ambrose Lupercal traffic a brand of rock-n-roll that’s as timeless as it is infectious. The pair also makes for a particularly noteworthy live show, because there are few people in town who work a crowd quite as adeptly as Dean. Holy White Hounds was the only band of the night that wasn’t debuting a new CD (Amos Slade played its new one, “Hungry Earth,” from the top down), but the band owned the evening with a solid, energetic set. CV