The only way you can get such a wide range of scenesters out to the Granada at 4:00 p.m. on a Sunday for a ten-band lineup is if they have a good reason to publicly show their love for something. Of course, celebrating your hometown record store might be the best reason.
Love Garden decided to commemorate 24 years of public service to our ears (and hearts) by throwing down with a memorable and historic show at the Granada. What started as an idea for a little get-together soon changed venues and more than doubled the lineup. Before long, organizers were calling up local and national favorites, debuting new acts, and reuniting older ones. The sets, culminating with a performance from Woods, took place over two stages within the venue, which made the night fly by in one seamless celebration.
The festivities began with a local band that’s currently sitting very well Lawrencians. Oils played all the songs off their cassette tape, and had the audience wrapped around their finger. We’ve never seen frontman Andrew Frederick more in control of his art. Having some extra bodies on the lineup has given him more creative freedom. Taryn Blake Miller is now parked behind her own drums, and Chris Luxem doesn’t even pick up a guitar anymore (he opts for working some magic with his vocal loops). The result is absolutely enthralling, and it’s easy to understand why they’re turning so many heads in Lawrence right now.
This town is full of skilled musicians, but Ben Sauder is one we’re keeping our eye on right now. You may recognize him as the charming keyboard player from Dean Monkey and the Dropouts, but lately he’s been venturing out on his solo project as No Magic. Sauder is an unconventional songwriter, which makes him right at home in the Whatever Forever family.
Like Sauder, Brooke Tuley is also an experienced musician venturing out on her own act. The Ad Astra and Bloodbirds alumna has an eerie demeanor about her, and produces nothing but haunting results. It’s truly unsettling, and utterly perfect.
The night may as well have belonged to Blood on the Wall. You wouldn’t have guessed that it had been six years since their last show. Their fans yelled all the lyrics and knew exactly when to rock out, as though they never actually stopped playing. Sure, it was nice to be reminded of the exhilarating talent behind those three. But half the fun was watching their fans go ape shit from every angle of the stage.
We learned a few things at Love Garden’s gargantuan celebration. We learned that if you give Psychic Heat a large enough stage, they will find a way to use the entire space. We learned that despite Your Friend’s growing popularity since signing to a large label, she’ll always win over at least one brand new fan hearing her for the very first time in the audience. We learned that shadows are awesome, Gnarly Davidson is a national treasure, you can get tacos at just about any venue these days, CS Luxem never plays the same set twice, and above all… always support your hometown record store.
Words and photos by Fally Afani