Last night, my awesome friend Lauren and I went to the kickoff event for the Midwest Music Summit. I adore the MMS – it’s a great chance to catch a live show in a relaxed atmosphere, and maybe find a little-known musical gem here and there. Plus, how can you beat unlimited performance access for a mere $20? MMS has had its share of ups and downs in the past couple of years, but they’ve still managed to put on a great series of events. Last night was no different.
We showed up early enough to catch the first act of the evening, The Hot IQs. Eerily reminiscent of the Killers (at least the voice), this three-piece outfit featured a pair of lanky white guys with poofy hair, and a devastatingly hot female drummer. They pattered through a few catchy tunes—nothing memorable. I did get to talk to the guitarist later on the evening, who seemed a little shell-shocked from their tour so far.
Next up was Those Young Lions. My friend and rollergirl Busty Sanchez highly recommended these guys, and they did not disappoint. They were a bit harsher than I was expecting, somewhat of a cross between Mission of Burma and a more melodic Queens of the Stone Age. I was surprised at how many fans were mouthing the words, and everyone seemed really into their frenetic set.
Then came the Silversun Pickups, and in all honestly, they didn’t do much for me,… followed by Murder by Death. I had heard so much about these guys from various younger friends, so I was excited to see what they were like. I think Lauren said it best when she remarked “they just seem so full of themselves”. I wish I could explain it, but it was like listening to my eleventh grade Biology teacher give a concert. There was little life onstage, save for some frenetic guitar playing, and the lead vocals came across as strained and flat at times. Overall, they were good, but I didn’t swarm the merch table afterward. Perhaps I caught them on an off night.
Finally, we stuck around for a few songs by local heroes Margot & the Nuclear So & Sos. These guys have been getting a ton of press in the mainstream, and it’s all well deserved. The more I listen to the album, the more I love ‘em. This was a homecoming of sorts, so they launched into the anthem “Broadripple is Burning”, and progressed from there into the album tracks, hardly deviating in sound or style. THE CROWD LOVED IT. Everyone was singing at the top of their lungs, dancing their (by now, drunken) asses off, and generally just having a great time. We cut out after hearing my favorite track, “Skeleton Key”.
I can’t wait to hit more MMS shows this weekend. With any luck, the weather will be beautiful and I can just wander around Broad Ripple for a few hours Saturday afternoon. Music really is medicine sometimes.