Words by Natu Tweh, Photos by Aliya Miranda
The High Dive hosted four bands to commemorate the launch of Wildcard Audio’s RAUX Cord on May 31. “While we were driving up to New York City, a couple of friends and I thought ‘why don’t we shred the whole way up?’” said Jay Rogue, guitarist and vocalist of Jay Rogue and the Stoges and member of Wildcard Audio. Along with Wildcard Audio’s promotion of their product ,it was a display of the awesome local music Gainesville has to offer.
Very Obvious Phil started the night with their infectious classic rock and blues sound.Their music was like a hallucinogenic; I swear that I heard someone slamming on a piano during their set, but there is no piano player in their band. That’s how well their music fits the genre. After playing a few of their own songs, like their song “House”, they went through a medley of covers from various genres. They covered Tom Petty, The Grateful Dead’s “Casey Jones,” A Flock of Seagull’s “I Ran (So Far Away),” and the classic “Hit the Road Jack.” With soaring solos and groovy bass lines, they put an energetic blues rock twist on each song. “When the house is a rockin’, don’t bother knockin.”
Tamayo played next, starting off with a new song. Their five piece ensemble led to an array of sounds, and the shift from the first song to the second song was wild. A synthesizer launched the audience into a rainforest with tinkling crystals and chirping birds. The ukulele and conga pushed the song further into this serene realm, while the bass and drums added a hint of funk. Their intro was enigmatic and psychedelic, like a folk Pink Floyd. It felt like the audience was brought into a spiritual moment. The second song was a complete shift from a spiritual to an island groove. They elevated the crowd in the first song to prepare them for the wave of the second.
Tamayo is a mixture of the old and new, with a conga drum and acoustic guitar on one side and a synthesizer and laptop on the other. Their final song “Break It Down on Me” was asolemn head nodder with a slow folk country vibe.“The Lord, he can’t help me now. I need to pay for my sins, forgiveness is what I need.”
The Walkers played third with an intro that came straight out of a western ghost story. It was packed with haunting guitar solos and chunky basslines all backed by the drummer’s voice and furious drumming. With a punk take on bluegrass, The Walkers shredded everything on stage. They played a new song titled “Death of Mankind” that felt like a beastial roar. The Walkers ended their set with a “fuck that shit!” chant into a song about just focusing on yourself and not letting things get you down. The band’s chemistry was stellar and can be summed up in the quick conversation the Walker brothers had on stage before their second to last song.“You ready big dog?” Wesley Walker said to Stew Walker. “Yep,” Stew Walker replied. And then they exploded with an amazing hardcore bluegrass sound. The Walker’s will be recording their first full length album at the end of June, stay tuned for the release date.
“Tell me what you want to see.”
Jay Rogue and the Stoges ended the night and they were completely unhinged. Jay threw himself around the stage, the bassist was reserved and kept the excitement in his face. The drummer began the set closed off, and slowly opened up until his drumming stance was wide as can be. If this was a cruise, the drummer would’ve thrown himself overboard. At one point something flew off of his cymbals. Their sound was funky, friendly and volcanic with rapping and straight jamming. People brought stools to the front the of stage to relax and kick back. Jay’s precise raspy stop-and-go vocals perfectly contrasted the bassist’s smooth and lighter vocals. Jay dropped his pick numerous times and kept playing without it, stopping for it at certain pauses. Specks of blood could be seen on his guitar. Whether they were from the show or previous performances doesn’t matter. It just shows how intensely he shreds.They ended their set and the night with a passionate cover of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Can’t Stop.”
“Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you.”
Very Obvious Phil
Jay Rougue & The Stoges