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Gigawatt - Guerilla Toss

Sep 26, 2018

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To celebrate Radio K’s 25th birthday, the Florists, Larry Wish & his Guys, and Guerilla Toss all gathered at the 7th street entry for the first night of two gigawatt showcases and delivered one of the most electrifyingly fun nights of Rock/punk music I’ve been to in a long time. The chilly Tuesday night began as people trickled in to the small space of the 7th street and a set from local post-punk band The Florists began. The three-piece outfit consists of local artists Jo Kellen, Luke Michaels, and Jared hemming who began the night with a lively set and certainly got things going. Donning a red plaid button up shirt-dress, lead singing Jo Kellen contorted and head-banged through the set while coaxing the crowd to participate in the movements. At one point the eccentric singer even went into the crowd to get everyone to sit on the floor cross legged like a kindergarten class at story time. He rose and continued to sing and borderline preach about the energy in the room while the rest of the band continued with a powerfully driving groove perfect for the soliloquy being delivered. The rest of the set was just as engaging and they left the stage with the crowd buzzing.

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Next came out Larry Wish & His Guys. Illuminated by a waist high plastic candle and string lights loosely tossed into a white laundry hamper that hung from the ceiling, the group took the stage. Behind them was a roll of shimmering siding that would serve to encompass different members of the group through the set to shroud them in a sparkling cylinder. The local five-piece band was joined by a sixth on this night, a saxophone player. Music began and immediately I was smiling at the grand and joyous sounds that came from the group. Larry sang with a baritone bravado that immediately made me feel like I was watching a man in the leading role of some musical production about adventure at sea. The sounds were big and ethereal. The colors were bright and entrancing. The music even seemed like it floated above the crowd. I’m positive that if I sat on the floor it would have been dead quiet and meditative. The addition of the saxophone turned out to be a decision that elevated their music even higher and gave it a transcendent quality. Brass instruments always help like that. But the sax wailed away and gave the group extra life. Overall, they were just having fun up there which makes any performance more enjoyable to see. At one point early in the set the guitar player broke a string and the group then pulled off an improvised stall piece to pass the time. They pulled off a smooth transition that even included a hint of the Simpsons melody. They were a fun group and their set flew by.

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Finally, it was time for the headliner Guerilla Toss. The New-York based psychedelic punk group have been touring for their latest album Twisted Crystal that came out September 14th but this did not limit their set list for the night. They opened with the track “Betty Dreams of Green Men” from their previous release GT Ultra and along with multiple tracks from that release they played tracks from older releases like their Gay Disco EP and album Eraser Stargazer. Highlights of the night included “Can I Get the Real Stuff”, “Meteorological”, “Magic Is Easy”, and “Eraser Stargazer Forever”. Throughout the whole night the band showed undeniable chemistry and unique character while their tight grooves and chaotic crashes put their musical prowess on full display. They seldom stopped between songs which provided a constant stream of music that bled each song into the next. The continuation made for a hypnotic show. Lead singer Kassie Carlson floored me with her wild inflections and animalistic sounds that left me in awe. Her annunciation of the syllables was so uniquely charming I couldn’t resist becoming hooked on her every word. Her movement was so timidly fluid. Little two step dance moves were accompanied by loose arm waving and wrist twirling. At points she also took out her violin and added distorted melodies to the band foundation. When Kassie wasn’t the focus of the song the other band members came through in full force. The drums were particularly ear catching. Everything about the kit was tight and the kick boomed. It filled the room and gave the group their powerful chaotic energy. Every moment was extremely satisfying and their powerful performance will be sticking with me for a long time.