Three To See

Here are just three of the great original St. Louis bands that play around town on a regular basis. Check these three out as soon as you get a chance.

So Many Dynamos—
There are so many reasons to like So Many Dynamos. Not only does this local band have a tremendous amount of energy and stage presence, they also have a truly unique indie-rock sound to go along with their performance. According to the band’s Web site, the group’s lineup has a gone through a variety of changes over its lifespan. Currently, the four-piece seems to be working well, and the sound could not be any more solid. Lead vocalist Aaron Stovall and guitarist Ryan Wasoba, the two original members, are both highly skilled musicians who play through great musical arrangements that offer a nice mix of guitar and keyboards. The songs in the set seem to fly by one after another; Wasoba is so animated onstage that he never even lets the audience have a breather. The night I saw them play, Wasoba was so hyper that he broke his glasses and had to put down his guitar to pick up all the broken pieces. So Many Dynamos is certainly one band that I hope stays together for a long time.

Ultra Blue—If you don’t mind seeing a band in which the lead singer is not afraid to play a key-tar on certain songs, Ultra Blue is well worth checking out. The key-tar was an instrument of choice in the early ’80s that allowed keyboard players to move around the stage, handling their instruments the way guitar players do. It makes sense that this band would have one because their sound seems to be influenced by early ’80s new wave. Ultra Blue certainly has their own way of doing it and the songs are quite good. Songs like “Head Shaving” are so striking that they easily capture the attention of the audience. Some fans are even happy to sing along with the catchy lyrics, especially the large groups of girls who camp out on the guitar player’s side of the stage. The band plays a tight set and the vocals are perfectly suited for the melodic mix of guitars and keyboards.

Cleevage is a great three-piece with a hard sound and a vocal arrangement that makes them stick out from other bands in the metal genre. All three members sing and often take turns going through verses during the course of one song. Drummer Keegan has no problem tearing through heavy rhythms and singing lead vocals when it’s his turn, and the group’s guitar sound is nothing short of exciting. There’s no shortage of great guitar riffs and powerful bass lines and the band’s overall performance onstage is as strong as any touring band with a record label behind them. The night I saw them perform, audience members seemed surprised to learn they were watching an unsigned local band. No doubt, Cleevage is worthy of attracting a big audience.

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