How do I put this nicely– I’m back on my bullshit. Instead of just staying home last night, I grabbed a friend and we went to a show I knew nothing about. Thankfully (or unthankfully) she had done her research during the day and, when I picked her up, her first comment was “I’m surprised you want to go to this show.” She went on to explain how calm and, well, basic the music was. I’ll be honest, that had me freaking out ever so slightly but, I know better than to judge a musician or band off of a recording. Recordings are great but I’m a live music junkie and know that everything can change with a band when they take a stage. After some dinner and some drinks, we found ourselves at this show and I found myself finally feeling back to normal with my random late-night show on a Thursday night with a friend.

Getting By kicked off the night and, as soon as they started, I had the urge to turn to her and say, “That’s what you get for assuming!” but, I honestly couldn’t pull myself away from the stage long enough to do so. This local band is a new name to me but they are a name that I won’t soon forget. Their classic pop-punk and emo-tinged music was absolutely perfect. Sure, there were moments throughout their quick opening set where I felt like I really wanted more vocals but, overall, I found myself just completely lost for words. Beyond their music, there was a sincere energy that radiated from the stage during Getting By’s set (and the other two sets of the night quick frankly). I may have been nervous about this show prior to it starting but, by the time Getting By had ended their set, I knew I had made the right choice on how to spend my Thursday evening.

Following Getting By was Maria and the Coins. Another powerhouse of a local band that I had never heard of before. Their music definitely was not my typical style,  but I loved it nonetheless. Whereas Getting By had a very youthful and almost garage rock energy to them, Maria and the Coins came off as very cool, calm, collected, and mature. Vocalist Maria Coyne had me standing like a fool with my jaw on the ground. Her vocals are absolutely perfect, timeless, and classic. She knows when to push her voice and knows when to ease up and somehow makes it all seem so easy. I seriously could not take my eyes off of this beautiful songstress but also could not ignore the rest of her extremely talented band. Although my friend assured me that the music she checked out online from Maria and the Coins was much more laid back, there was no denying the energy that radiated off the stage as this band powered through their set. I don’t know why I was worried about this show. Even if the last band was a dud, two out of three was not bad for a random Thursday night show!

Thankfully, Zaq Baker was far from a dud. He closed out the Thursday night show absolutely perfectly and had me sold within his opening track. Zaq was a familiar face as he took the stage. He had been one of The Coins from Maria and The Coins. I’ll be honest, I’ve never quite liked the idea of people play back to back sets just because I feel like it typically means there will be a lot of parallels between the sets making the night feel stale but Zaq’s music was so different from Maria and the Coins that I had to keep reminding myself that it was the same person. A little Ben Folds (yeah, that’s a cop-out to say since Zaq is a pianist), a little theatrical slice, and a whole lot of heart, Zaq had me eating up every word and note that he performed.  Although the songs that I caught were mostly upbeat and boppy, there was something about his vocals that kept a sense of heaviness and emotion in the background throughout the night. He absolutely has a way with words and had some lines that cut too close to the soul. Another friend who I met up with kept on saying that a particular song was just so eerily in line with her life right now. It was as if Zaq had looked into her soul and was singing directly to her. I know we all have those songs that feel like that– like the vocalist had you in mind when writing the lyrics– but there was something just a bit more raw about Zaq’s delivery of these words that made him an absolute stand-out act.

Unfortunately, Zaq didn’t start his set until 10:30 and I’m so out of practice with this whole weeknight show thing that I didn’t make it until the end but I feel like I got a great taste of Zaq to the point where I will absolutely be seeking out his name in upcoming line-ups rather than just breezing by it.

All of last night was absolutely amazing from the music to the energy, to the atmosphere. I won’t lie, one of the highlights of the night was me being able to say “I told you you have to music live before passing judgment” to my friend but, beyond that, it was just such a perfect night. Cliche- Sappy- Cheesy– whatever you want to call it– it feels so good to be back on my bullshit and to have my life back.

Line Up:

Getting By

Maria and the Coins

Zaq Baker

Venue: 7th Street Entry

Sausage Fest Meter- 7 out of 10

Smell-O-Meter – None

Average Age of the Crowd- 24

Crowd Surfers- None

Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10

Stage Divers-  None

Broken Bones- None

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- None Witnessed

Injuries- None Witnessed

Passed Out People- None Witnessed

Idiots Taken Out By Security- None Witnessed

How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-

Getting By- 0

Maria and the Coins- 0

Zaq Baker- 0

Celebrity Sightings- Chelsea of The Von Tramps

Overall Score- 8.4 out of 10

Show on Deck- Purple Funk Metropolis/ Honeybutter/ Sass

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