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Groovatron & No Hay Banda @ Nick’s Night Club

October 18, 2010

Saturday night was full of jamming at Nick’s Night Club. No Hay Banda and Groovatron played to about 80-100 people–a larger and more diverse audience than what I typically see.

I had never been to Nick’s before, so I was struck by all the space. Most venues around here are small, and typically lack a “real” stage or sound system. Nick’s has a formidable permanent stage and a professional sound system, making it a good fit for both bands. Really, any non-acoustic act with some kick would do well at this venue.

This was my third (?!) time seeing No Hay Banda and this was certainly their best performance so far. Like I’ve written before, they deliver jam band-style dance-rock, complete with furious guitar solos. I was pleased to hear more vocals this time. They pull off the instrumental pieces skillfully, but hey, why be shy about singing when you have the pipes?

Granted, vocals were prominent on a brand new, ballad-esque song they debuted. It’s currently untitled and not on their site, so you’ll have to hit up the guys if you want to hear it.

A good number of NHB’s friends/fans were not only present, but shamelessly rocking out. I can see why some bands like playing bars. People are there to let loose and have a good time– and it definitely shows. I was especially tickled to see a handful of characters from Friday’s show, including one of the few rastas in Lafayette. The set ended with the crowd chanting “NO HAY BANDA! NO HAY BANDA!” in hopes of an encore (to no avail).

Groovatron took the stage next, playing a double set (I could only stay for one). They’re a 6-member band, complete with saxophone and an additional percussionist.

They’re a pure jam band, dipping into funk and soul accentuated by heavy slap bass. Yet in spite of their strong musicianship, their set seemed to drag. Now, each genre presents its own challenges. For instrumental jam bands, that challenge can be keeping the ‘drive’ in a set. Songs can go on too long, or blend together into repetition. I’m also yet to see a jam band conquer sticky-feet syndrome. But I do have to give Groovatron props for doing an a capella piece, complete with beat boxing.

Interestingly enough, I think NHB is better experienced live, and Groovatron better experienced on a CD, albeit for different reasons. Either way, both are worth checking out!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2010 2:51 am

    Happened to be in the area and checked out the show…Groovatron was waaaay loud at Nick’s, you should just say it, some people actually looked offended, like OffENDED. Talked to my buddy who plays, said they’re loud everywhere. No offense, they’re really cool, probably just would be better at an outdoor festival. No Hay Banda, on the other hand, was AWESOME! wish they had a cd out, i’m sure a ton of people would buy it. Heck, i’d HELP them spread their music. The sound was great, you could hear every instrument so clear, and the arrangements=wonderful, especially on that English Novel(?) song. The keyboardist looked crabby but he could belt some lyrics and the guitarist was bad ass too. As the Girl at the Show said, check out Groovatron’s CD and check out No Hay Banda as soon as humanly possible live, nice job guys!

  2. hank permalink
    December 3, 2010 3:56 pm

    Groovatron is a loud band. I wouldn’t call them pure jam mostly because they’re not a bunch of pussies singing about trees and rivers. How many jam bands do you know that play actual real rock songs and not watered down middle of the road B.S. I can’t stand jam music but, I freaking love Groovatron.

    NHB were pretty good but, they don’t hold a candle.

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