May 2, 2015
Photos and review by Josh Reardon
Steve Gunn kicked off his tour last weekend at the Spirit in upper Lawrenceville with a glowing reception from concertgoers. Sprit, formally the Moose Lodge sports a trendy ‘underground’ feel. Everything from the dim lighting to the large wooden spool tables give the venue an air of new age excitement; which is exactly what the bands provided.
Special guest Dhruva Krishna provided the first opening act of the evening in their fun yet skillful display of musical talent. The young gentlemen provided an enjoyable set with the airof a laid back confidence. I couldn’t help but reminisce looking back to casual concerts with friends back in school, they truly made you feel as if the audience were all friends of theirs whom they wished to entertain. Though this is not to be confused with carelessness, the boys metthe challenge of their music with exuberant energy providing intriguing intricate music. In an interesting rock, pop and country mix Dhruva Krishna also featured their knowledge and use of guitar pedal to create layering adding to the sound produced by the two boys. They moved on to use the layering to produce a whole piece that almost had an orchestrated quality in its extreme depth. It was evident that the individuals within the band had family members within the audience; it was extremely enjoyable to see the fun loving down home boys next door ‘rock out’ smiling all the while.
Dhruva Krishna was flowed by the second opener of the evening; Sagas. Sagas features artist Matt McDowell and his intriguingly indi, artistic feel to music. His use of guitar pedal to layer music provides a full sound even with this one-man band, and the manipulation of his guitar to provide other untraditional sounds provides audience members with a differing texture. Sagas presents an artistic yet entertaining sound that appealed to listeners on a somewhat more intellectual level than other musicians do. Sagas provides the perfect combination of taste and intellect to keep audiences thinking and entertained at the same time.
The evening however would not be complete without headliner Steve Gunn. Gunn, originally from Lansdowne, Pa brought his unique mix of indi-punk rock along with emotional baritone vocals into the intimate setting of the Spirit. Driven by his captivating emotion, his music draws audiences in to a trance like manor. With a personality that was unshaken, and calm for the entire performance he radiated expertise. Even when presented with an array of technical difficulties Gunn was able to keep his cool, cracking jokes and keeping audience interested even while taking a brief break to fix these problems. One can not help but sit close to the edge of ones seat as you watch Gunn pour his emotion into skillfully crafted guitar riffs and rhythmicallycomplex musical runs. Not only does his work appear professionally crafted and presented, but italso greets the audience with a personal touch, an air of familiar readability both relaxing and thrilling to the listener. We can only imagine that Steve Gunn will continue to pack houses for the continuation of his tour.