A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Mail: PO Box 1556 | Burlington, VT 05402

Wrapup: Givers @ Monkey House 5/9/2010

Filed Under: Concert Reviews

Written by Brendan

Monday May 10, 2010

Well it finally happened last night – for the first time since I started regularly going to rock shows six years ago, I think that an audience (or lack thereof) may have actually killed a show. Not that Givers didn’t give it their all, but there was no mistaking the lack of energy all around – it ended up feeling like I was watching them practice in their garage.

I’ve been to many other sparsely attended shows here, but that sparseness and lack of true interest was nothing compared to last night.

It was another solo show for me, and started with the bouncer essentially begging the guy in front of me to come in after he initially rejected the $8 cover charge. Not generally a good sign, but he ended up forking over $5 in a compromise and headed in.

The opening act, Burlington’s own Maga (soft ‘g’), was on when I walked in. Not all of their songs spoke to me, but the couple that did were really impressive (particularly their final song). Assuming it’ll be a fairly unique item for a while, I bought one of their t-shirts after the show (threadless shirts are everywhere these days, so I’m beginning to look for new sources). I definitely look forward to catching Maga again.

While they prepped the stage and got themselves ready to perform, Givers stood in an alcove between the bar and the windows and had what seemed to be an amazing freestyle rap session. Had I been a little bolder it would have been fun to jump in; alas, I’m not. So at least they had some fun. When they got started, I’d say there were maybe 20 people there, and half of those people never left the bar.

Givers @ Monkey House 5/9/2010

The music itself wasn’t bad – the vocal mix was a bit off for the first song, but once corrected I thought that both lead singers sounded great. You could feel them trying to drum up the energy to keep going, but you could also feel that energy being drained from them faster than they could keep up with. And I have to say, I don’t blame them. Not even Teddy Lamson’s frenetic pounding of the drums was enough to bring people up to the front to dance.

The area in front of the stage consisted of me and three seemingly wasted 30-something women who slurred “I fucking love you guys” or “you guys are soooo fucking awesome” as they sashayed (literally) across the dance floor after every song (and not in that really endearing way, but in that terribly obnoxious way). Taylor Guarisco’s eyes roll back in his head when he sings, so it’s tough to really tell, but I’m pretty sure I caught a couple of “yikes” type of eye rolls in there.

Givers @ Monkey House 5/9/2010

I really appreciate a band that can make it all the way through a show like that without saying “this is just awful,” but they didn’t really have to say that. After watching videos of their shows elsewhere and hearing fantastic things from my friend Aaron, I’m so disappointed that Burlington couldn’t turn out a crowd to really get the best out of Givers. As it is, I still got to listen to some good music, and it was well worth the $8 and drive to Winooski, but I need to see Givers again to get a better taste of the energy and excitement that they bring to the stage.

Here’s to hoping tomorrow’s Drink Up Buttercup show can get me out of the funk that last night’s show left me in.

Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

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