A chilly, dark Saturday on the other side of some tracks in Baltimore found this writer attending a killer show at The Warehouse, a small venue with the perfect amount of sketchiness and featuring cheap beer, plenty of graffiti, and a working toilet. First onstage was Western Star, a four-piece heavily influenced by alt and classic rock. High octane riffs, croony vocals, and evocative lyrics, the band is equal parts Modest Mouse and Van Zant Band in their musicality. Frontman Max Jeffers brought great energy to the stage, hair flying, and the instrumentals were fantastic, recalling the stylings of Jimi Hendrix.
The Milestones are quickly becoming an establishment-worthy act in the Baltimore scene. Cobbling together an indie style with dance-worthy melodies, the band put on a fantastic show, gripping the audience's attention immediately and not letting it go until the last guitar note faded on the amps. A particular standout song, UFO (see below) was great live, with expert guitar pieces and crashing drum segments. The band recently put an EP called Honey and listening is highly recommended, especially for a highway playlist.
Closing out the night was rap-reggae-rock fusion group Edjacated Phools. A band of seven, they surprised with their rap skills and seamless reggae techniques. Slick guitars, sick, booming vocals, and melodic keyboard playing brought together an exciting and fun performance and their audience interaction was on point. With semi-political and feel-good verses, the Phools are reminiscent of Sublime and Dirty Heads, yet distinctive in their own right.