By: Graham Johnson
I don’t really remember what I did last week. Between work, blog business, and my body’s baffling urge to never sleep again, I was absolutely fried. Yet, as a beacon of hope in the milky fog that was my workweek, I was invited to see a few bands play at Hardback Cafe. Among which was Pathos Pathos; a wild amalgamation of 60s pop and 2000s alt from Orlando that inspires movement without fail. Though, before Pathos Pathos, the crowd and myself would be treated to a of passionate and wildly dynamic set by Boyfriend Material.
Boyfriend Material was the first of the three to set up, and they welcomed us with a cozy pop-punk set that showcased several Indie inspirations throughout. Shauna’s soft, sparkly vocals sit quite gracefully over her subtle rhythm and Rob’s morose leads, while Tony’s bass rattles and pops like an old engine moving the rhythm along. Representing quite a large portion of the bands pop-punk allotment, Jesse’s percussion was rock solid and kept everything anchored down, so as not to let Shauna and Rob float away.
Boyfriend Material singing their siren song at Hardback Cafe.
Playing the middle child in a dysfunctional family of musical whiz kids, Pathos Pathos. This band ends up being somewhat of an oddity at every show they attend. Something about the way Matt Walsh’s velvety smooth vocals wash over the sparkling sands of his rhythm guitar lends itself well to the bright, poppy, and sometimes Beatles-esque, lead lines streaming from Frank Jesmar Palencia’s instrument. Adding to the intensity, James Murphy beats the ever-loving hell out of any drum within reach to fill all the negative space he can.
Pathos Pathos bringing the groove to Hardback Cafe.
Rounding out this motley crew of musicians was, Dikembe. Their set was by far the most Dynamic. While some of their songs resemble an extremely groovy Grunge, others feel more like a very heavy R&B. Front man, Steven Gray’s, gritty guitar lays a bed of metal filings upon which he gingerly sets his vocals before they inevitably shred apart into soul-rattling screams of sadness. Meanwhile, Randy Reddell is hammering every bass note into the back of your skull so that the madness of David Bell’s incendiary tom game can bruise you all over. Dikembe was a rollercoaster in and of themselves and I felt an uncommon exhaustion ante-ceding their blistering performance.
Dikembe melting faces at Hardback Cafe in Downtown Gainesville.
Going into this show, I had no idea how three such contrasting bands would find a common theme and keep the show going. However, I was proven wrong through a dynamic, multi-faceted performance by three talented bands. Super stoked to see Pathos Pathos out here, too. If you missed the show, all the bands have music on Bandcamp. Look em up and check em out and keep on the lookout for rad shows like these!
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Photos by: Kevin Renard