Saturday, July 30, 2011

Live Review: Maps and Atlases

San Francisco is a city of thriving arts and culture. Artists from all over the world love coming to such a supportive musical community because there is such diversity, and a crowd for almost any kind of music. Even despite this, we were lucky to have Maps & Atlases in SF tonight, along with two California-based bands in a fantastic indie show tonight.

Sacramento-centered quartet Sister Crayon opened the show. A lot of the focus on their music was effects, although the operatic vocals were to be competed with by similar bands in their complicated soul / trip-hop world. The bass effects that vibrated the entire house weren't too greatly appreciated, but at least they added a unique element. Ultimately, though, the keyboard / guitarist shined through the most, providing true tonal variety in the show.

Princeton was a four piece group from Los Angeles that combined auxiliary percussion with vocal harmonies with extremely changeable instrumentation to produce an energetic sound. The style of their songs was different every time, from a darker electronic sound to a pop-ish indie rock. With ethereal keys, a throbbing bass, and sporadic, emphatic guitar chords, they brought something new and lively to the show.

Maps & Atlases, being the final act of the night, started off strongest of the lot with an upbeat indie jam that got the crowd moving quickly. One of the highlights of the performance was the guitarist and bassist pulling out drums and beating them incessantly in tune. With altering time signatures, a fairly continual bright mood, a simplistic four piece setup, and energy flowing over the top, Maps & Atlases put on a good show from start to finish, and was a great conclusion to a show that felt really comfortable and easy to listen to.

You can keep up with Sister Crayon on their website, you can listen to Princeton on their Myspace or their Bandcamp, and you can keep up with just about everything Maps & Atlases related on their website.

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