Review by Erin Harkes
Photographs by Timothy Reidy
Anyone who says there’s nothing to do in Albany doesn’t listen to WEQX-FM.
This great radio station presents some amazing (and often free!) shows – pairing up Local 518 greats with touring indie rock bands. The results are usually epic, and Sunday night’s free show was no exception.
The Australian four-piece indie-pop band San Cisco performed at Albany’s Bayou Cafe to a packed crowd of reveling hipsters. The band opened with “Golden Revolver,’ which set the ebullient tone for the evening. The second song was led by Scarlett Stevens’ pulsing bass drum as though she were leading a parade. “Lyall” had a punk/surf beat which brilliantly contrasted with the almost reggae feel of the following song “Hunter” before bringing it back to pop with the slower and catchy “Beach.” “Reckless” was sweet and ethereal. I couldn’t help falling in love with the line, “I wouldn’t mind loving that girl.”
Mid-set, Jordi Davieson dismissed the band to play the light-hearted, dirge-y “John’s Song” before bringing them back to the stage for what ended up being my favorite song of the night, “Toast.” This song featured clever use of the synths that flanked the stage all night.
The shift in the rhythm and progression of “Wild Things” made me think they’d switched songs somewhat seamlessly and sneakily. It sounded almost like a medley of two songs, especially considering that few of their songs stretched beyond the perfect pop song time limit of two minutes and change. “Nepal” asked, “Tell me if you feel it all,” the answer to which, from what I could see safely from the bird’s nest, was a resounding “yes.” The band kept the pace up with “No Friends” before ending the set with their most familiar – and biggest hit to date – “Awkward.”
They were called back to the stage and obliged with the rowdy “Rocket Ship,” featuring a nice little “ooh la la la” chant that bid the crowd adieu.
Rounding out the band’s line-up were Josh Biondillo and Nick Gardner, providing more guitar, more synth and more vocals. Each song was catchy without being obnoxious and kept the crowd involved from start to finish.
Opening for San Cisco was the always amazing Stellar Young. Fresh off the release of their new album Everything at Once these local indie heroes set the perfect tone for the night, playing songs off their new album, as well as reaching back to 2011’s Madison for the die-hards who remember when the band was known as the City Never Sleeps.
SAN CISCO SET LIST
Girls Do Cry
STELLAR YOUNG SET LIST
The Universe Is a Bully
Return to Sender
Crumble at the Fault
Whistle As You Go
Over All Over
Playing With Guns
We Own Nothing
Speak Now (Good Man)