By: Kevin Renard
As I snapped awake from an unintended nap incurred by a week of sleep deprivation at around 7:30 Saturday night, I seriously considered calling in sick to this show. Most of my friends were either busy or broke, and it would’ve been so, so easy to sink back into my bed. But for what could’ve easily been for better or worse, I grabbed my camera bag and made the trek to the High Dive.
Walking in, I felt extremely uneasy, but luckily the opening band, Arrows in Action had a panacea for my misgivings, and their prescription was upbeat pop-punk. It’s been quite a while since my days of Fall Out Boy, Paramore, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and the like (but probably not long enough), and while definitely not a carbon copy of any of those bands, Victor Viramontes-Pattison’s smooth, yearning vocals certainly brought back some of those memories. Most had been locked away deep, deep in my brain for a reason, but they made me happy.
After their first song, I spent a few moments to pin down who exactly they reminded me of, but they beat me to it, covering Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life”. Hailing from Gainesville, Arrows in Action have been at it for a while, and it shows- the performances of all members were tightly done, Jesse Frimmel kept things locked down on drums, John Minatree’s bass lines were sturdy, and Adrian De Zayas guitar leads kept their sound moving along. Maybe you think you’ve outgrown pop-punk like me, but Arrows in Action proved to simply be a fun band.
Arrows in Action Rockin’ out at High Dive.
Coming up after was the band that got me up and to the venue, flipturn. Their set was especially exciting because of the release of the debut EP, “Heavy Colors” (available on Spotify and iTunes). After being invited to one of their shows in the fall I was skeptical at first. I won’t pretend my experiences with local FL bands have been entirely positive, but at the first show I saw them at my inhibitions were stripped away instantaneously. Dillon Basse’s voice is as infectious as it is unique, and no other part of the five-piece band is lacking either. They all fit perfectly with a sound that incorporates the best parts of garage rock and indie pop. Their palette of sound reminiscent of acts like The Temper Trap (to me at least).
Playing in the order of the EP on Saturday they opened their set with “Beep”, a fast-paced personal favorite in which drummer Adrian Walker’s fills are astounding, especially witnessing them live. Things got significantly brighter with “Vanilla” and “Chicago”, whose pop hooks are guaranteed to get stuck in your head, especially with keyboardist Taylor Allen’s sweet backing vocals on the latter. “Cold” is another favorite that followed, where Madeline Jarman’s bass drives the song on with perfect weight and guitarist Tristan Duncan’s tremolo picking highlights Basse’s vocals and the cathartic heft of the song. Rounding off the EP with “Hypoxia”, flipturn proves the versatility of their sound.
That wasn’t the end of their set however, playing an older single “Cartoon Head” and a cover of “You can’t Always Get What You Want.” Which might not be the most obvious song to cover, but as someone who grew up with Hot Rocks as one of the 6 CDs in rotation in my dad’s truck, I still very much approved. They’re still very much young as a band and as people, and although they might be tired of hearing it at this point, they punch well above their weight class. They aren’t just good as a college band, or a local band, but as a band period.
flipturn showcasing their new record “Heavy Colors” at High Dive.
Ending off the night was Latchkey, playing (indefinitely) their last gig as a band. When they started playing I was taken slightly aback upon hearing Spencer Jordan’s country-edged voice, then I noticed the shift in the look of the audience (a lot more Vineyard Vines shirts). I’m certainly not in the place to try and write their obituary, I can’t make much of case for them at this point, but I could see their merit in the emotions of the musicians and their viewers; drinking to the life of their band, swing dancing in the crowd, and bringing the members of the other acts of the night to sing the anthem “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” from The Killer’s “All These Things That I’ve Done”. In closing the set, in a poetic, bittersweet fashion, they covered “Drift Away”. With the end of Latchkey and a big step in flipturn’s beginning, it’s cool to see the cyclicality of music, if you like thinking that way.
Latchkey giving a final farewell to all their fans at High Dive.
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All Photos by: Kevin Renard