Smith’s smells like mildew. The decent stage is upstairs, but as a band I can imagine you would never want to play there because you have to haul all of your stuff up a long staircase in the back. I wonder if it’s even covered in case of bad weather. I try to not go to this place, but sometimes the bands you want to see (SeePeoples plays here exclusively in Atlanta, it seems) play there.
This was my fourth time seeing In The Whale. The first time I caught these guys was as an undercard on a Red Bull Sound Select show that Natalie and I used to go to every month. The shows were always $3 and had three bands, and every single one we saw was great. Those shows were great for introducing us to new music. I think Baby Baby was on one of those… But I’m getting way off topic.
In The Whale are a brilliant rock two piece from Colorado (first I think Greeley, then Boulder and now Denver), with the type of sneering, angry rock that makes you want to bounce into the person next to you in between fist pumping shout alongs. The riffs remind me of Bleach-era Nirvana, and the pop sensibilities of that group are present as well, even though I think ITW are trying to fight it. They have songs that could easily be on the radio in heavy roation (Highways) or known across the land from pit to pit (Teeth).
This show was sparsley attended but the two piece, with the drums right up front and turned to the side so you can better experience the group, performed to the back of the room. I never understand why the house can’t seem to turn on some more lighting at shows like this. If the band is playing like there are a thousand people in the room, why not give them the support they deserve? Just another complaint about Smith’s (and honestly a lot of venues).
You can tell these guys spend a lot of time together in the way they can feed off of each other and react to a small glance. Through raging distorted guitar, explosive driving drums and sing/scream vocals In The Whale are two guys putting 1000% into playing music. They played one new song I had never heard before (tentatively titled Crosses) that I hope gets recorded and added to their regular live rotation. They kept a great energy going through the whole set and I think all my friends who came really liked them.