Words, Images, and Videos by Jake Krolick
New Orleans’ own Rotary Downs played my backyard venue the Northstar bar on Thursday. They opened for a heap of other local artists and really impressed our small but hearty group of onlookers. With the Northstar Bar surrounded by Italian motor bikes and north philly X-mas tree pushers, Rotary Downs rocked the cold December chills away. These cats mixed up an enchanting lather of psychedelic rock music blended with just the right worldly vibes and wailing guitars. Their quick set concluded with a lively cover of the Beatles “Get Back.” They packed the cover full with some hot keyboard work from Michael Girardot and a nasty little exchange jam at the end between singer James Marler and lead guitarist Chris Colombo. Check out Rotary Downs in the video below. We dare you to not tap a foot to it… www.rotarydowns.com
Part Pixies, part Walkmen, part something else entirely, The Shackeltons are doing something worth seeing live. Their changes made you feel like tipping your head back and just enjoying the ride as they whipped us around from slow somber ballads to charging full frontal rock. Their lead singer Mark Redding showed brooding warmth in his voice and its layered complexity was as much fun to hear as Redding was to watch. He opened up with a song about losing someone he loved violently in the power of a storm. As he stripped away the songs layers, he questioned “did you, did you want me baby?” He swatted at himself and the air with a dozen mixed flowers sending the flower pedals flying. He ripped and twisted the stems in his hands as the song peaked in guitar and crashing of the drums. Redding was in a trance and clapped his hands free of the floral remnants as his nightly routine of releasing his demons came to an end. The Shackeltons went on to kill it from here hammering at our emotions with a strong mix of drums, guitar and bass. The band effortlessly shifted from the somber to the aggressive moments producing some well played indie rock.
Check the Shackeltons out opening their Northstar Bar show in style in the video below. www.theshackeltons.com