Friday, June 26, 2009

Via Audio: Live Review

It's hard to go into a live show with complete oblivion. I rarely pay to see bands whose music I have not previously taken the time to listen to, unless they are openers or something. In fact, I'm the kind of person who goes likes to listen to the band the entire week before the show - even on the car ride to the show. 

That's why Via Audio was a strange occurrence for me: love at first sound.

I interviewed them for ACRN down in Athens, and went to see their show later that night on a whim. That was back.. oh say... late fall, early winter? They were great. I saw them again when they came to another Athens bar later that year. And I saw them again last night at the Beachland Tavern (cool venue, btw). 

So why so much love? Via Audio is like the carefree younger sister you always wished you could be. She doesn't care about what people think, and she's gonna do whatever she darn pleases. She prances around the house in torn up spandex bike shorts and an oversize t-shirt belting Michael Jackson (tears!), and she eats three pieces of cake instead of one, just because she can.

Via Audio is like that. Their music is professional, well-constructed, and fits into an appropriate indie pop format. But it's pure also whimsical and fun fun fun. David Lizmi plays incredibly tight basslines, Tom Deis is a spunky dude with a great sense of electric guitar mastery, and Adam Sturtevant keeps the tempo upbeat, wobbly, and fun throughout. But Jessica Martins is the ultimate best, the glue that holds the whole group together.

Martins is that little sister. She knows she's cool, but she doesn't care. When a guy shouts to her mid-show, "YOU'RE SWEET," she quickly and wittily responds, "I paid him." She dances, she bangs her head around, she moves around her keyboard like a vixen with the voice of an angel. 

The show included everything I could ever ask for in a small, bar atmosphere... goofball antics (Deis was wearing a kitten shirt and suspenders, for god's sake), a carefree free-for-all (headliners Ha Ha Tonka joined them onstage for a fantastic Michael Jackson tribute), and unpretentious musicality.

"Developing Active People" started the set, which also included foot-tappers "Modern Day Saint," "Presents," and a few new ones I've never heard. "Digital" is one of my favorites live Via Audio songs: a funky synth-crazy groove that mocks Autotune (ha!) with "I don't have to sing my notes on key because the robot sings it right for me." 

Here's the clincher: I brought my dad with me to the show. If a middle-aged music fan with an affinity for The Who and Led Zeppelin can fully enjoy himself while watching Via Audio, I challenge you - find someone who can't.


  1. They are great, good review Danielle! I love 'Digital' so much.

  2. Thanks for the great review! I should totally pay you.

    Love, Jess Martins