Saturday, February 20, 2010

Swaso and Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies get down at Cat's Cradle

The Triangle was full of great bands last night, but Swaso, Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies and The Guns of El Barracho managed to get a fair share of the of folks out and about on what was one of the warmer nights so far this year.

I arrived at the show around 10:30 pm and didn't think I would miss much, but this show was running right on time. The Guns of El Barracho had already come and gone (word from some members of the crowd was that is was pretty mellow) and Violet Vector was finishing up “Grass is Glowing.”

Most of the audience members were hanging back, but there was a small coalition of five or six people grooving up front. The band took as much energy as they could from this small group and played an awesome set. I may have only seen half of the set, but I was in love and wanted to buy some Beatle boots and follow them on tour. To close, they played the hell out of “Ten Tigers” with lead singer Amanda dominating the front of the stage and banging a maraca and tambourine together with an audience member up front.

Swaso took the stage behind billowing clouds of smoke around 11 pm and the room filled up more. The stage setup included a runway extending into the Cradle crowd. I'll admit that my expectations weren't high after listening to their Myspace. I was expecting mostly arena-style rock with little diversity; however, Swaso surprised me with their versatility. They played some funk and soul that won the crowd over, particularly “Baby, I'm Your Man” when bassist Jamie McFarlane took over the lead vocals.

The band has great stage presence. The group has a fun rock star sex appeal that sky rockets when they draw out the grooves or when lead guitarist Hugh Swaso heads out onto the catwalk for a flashy solo. When occasional guest keyboardist Lance Ashley joins in, it's really over the top, especially when Lance and Hugh traded fours.

To wrap up their set they closed with covers of “Kiss” by Prince and the Revolution and “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga, both crowd pleasers. In their short encore, the debuted a new song “Orion” and finished with a cover of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel's “Killing Me Softly with His Song.”

Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies set list
Make My Day
Double Axe
What's Going on in Your World?
Grass is Glowing
Love is Everything
Every Word Means Go!
Hall of Gems
Can You Dig It?
Sunshine In Space
Ten Tigers

Swaso set list
Love is a Bullet
Baby, I'm You Man
Ain't Nobody
Just Say the Word
Just Dance
Killing Me Softly With His Song

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