LIVE: Capital Area Indie Fest @ The Linda, 2/7/15
Review and photographs by Ed Conway
Additional photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The Linda was the scene of a wild musical party on a snowy Saturday night earlier this month. The occasion was the Capital Area Indie Fest, a fundraiser for the Columbia Arts Team and WEXT-FM. Organizer Andrew Gregory invited a diverse group of seven bands to share the stage. The performers ran the gamut from solo singer-songwriter to full out rock band, with each showcasing their own original songs. With seven bands in a finite time span, each band was limited to 25-30 minutes, but they made the most of it; unselfishly sharing the stage and supporting each other throughout the evening.
First up was co-organizer Sandy McKnight and his band the Idea, who set the tone for what was to become a rocking night. Next up was Legendary Losers, a power trio fronted by Dave Graham. Accents followed, calming things down slightly with wonderful harmonies during their set of Americana originals. The Holly & Evan Band heated things up again with a rocking set of blues-influenced indie rock, sprinkled with some brand new originals.
After a brief intermission, singer-songwriter Ashley Sofia got the second set started with her brand of country-tinged originals. It was back to the rock as the Chris Dukes Band hit the stage for their blistering set. And closing out the night in grand style were the Stockade Kids.
Between the sets, WEXT DJs Dave Michaels and Joyce Jackie joined Gregory on stage to announce each band and keep things moving along during the lightning quick turnovers. These could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of the bands. The camaraderie could be felt throughout the night as many of the band members found new friends and fans among the other performers and in the audience. It was a wonderful night with the performers giving it their all and the nearly full Linda audience responding accordingly.
Excerpt from David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette: “Holly Taormina shouted into the mic halfway through her 30-minute set, ‘If you want something done, you got to do it yourself.’ Perhaps that was the theme of the Indie Fest show Saturday night at the Linda, a fundraiser for WEXT radio and the Columbia Arts Team… Taormina, of Holly and Evan, offered the most ‘indie’ presence on stage. She has a commanding, even righteous, approach to her music. You felt this from the start with her demanding opener ‘Rise up.’ Below her contemporary songwriting are echoes of old-timey Delta blues concepts, like the line she yelled, ‘I won’t ever by satisfied, even when I’m six feet under.’ The group’s sound is a bit sparse in the middle and can use something between Taormina’s authoritative vocals and Evan Conway’s meandering bass lines with an equally busy drummer. The most advanced, polished and wild group of the night were the Schenectady-based Stockade Kids. They rocked, they rapped, they danced, their horn players were tasteful, and they got the place up and dancing. Bursting with energy, they seem right on course for notice beyond the region.”