Concert Review: Sir Sly, Colony House, Kongos, February 10, 9:30 Club

sir sly

Last night’s show at the 9:30 Club had it all – brother duos, brother quartets, West coast bands, Southern trios, South African groups, high lyrical craft, lo-fi musical sound, stunning lights, great banter, and – most importantly – a great crowd enjoying infectious music.

Colony House came first – filling the 9:30 Club to a surprising extent at an early hour. The adorable trio humbly thanked the fans, acknowledging they “sorta were invited to play as friends… of friends.” The group has an upbeat retro vibe that was brought together in a Tennessee high school and kept together, in part, by bonds of blood. Brothers Caleb and Will Chapman play with guitarist Scott Mills – creating a great dynamic that’s well worth seeing live. Their top hit Silhouettes is great both recorded and live.

Sir Sly came next… and ended up being the highlight of the show for me. The group’s track “Ghost” has been a favorite of mine ever since it came out in 2013. The first beat (still) gives me goosebumps* and the rest of the track delivers a consistently pleasant punch. The band’s sound resonates with all types of audiences, wowing video game players and selling Cadillacs with “Gold” and hitting #3 among indie pop listeners with the new single “You Haunt Me” in October of this year. The LA group’s appeal to diverse ears is pretty unsurprising: their vocals are smooth, their beats are hypnotic, and their lyrics are catchy. The group’s super polished and haunting sound (which some call Sly-fi) made me wonder how their stage presence would be. Long story short, lead singer Landon Jacobs, drummer Hayden Coplen and keyboardist Jason Suwito rock it, mixing their music with just enough DC-centric banter to keep the audience engaged and delighted. Although “Gold” and “Ghost” got the most applause, the band’s track “Inferno” is my new top listen.

And to close the night: the Kongos! The band is such a sensation with such a formulaic/basic beat to their top song, “Come with me Now” – I was super curious to see how (or if) they would translate live. Oh. They translate. All the way from South Africa, the four Kongos brothers (shout out to brother bands!) Johnny, Jesse, Daniel and Dylan rocked the 9:30 stage with a variety of tracks from their “Lunatic” album.

Totally great show. See these guys – whether as a package deal or separate they are worth the time and ticket.

*Unrelated side note: I went to the Museum of Natural History this weekend and learned that goosebumps are a body’s natural reaction to the cold wherein the strategy is to raise the hairs on the skin to help trap warm air. In the same exhibit, I learned that otters have the densest fur of any mammal. Those little guys have 700,000 hairs in the size of a postage stamp. Who knew?! Nature. Pretty neat.

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Posted on by halley in Concerts

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