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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Crumbling Arches: Beyond the Rock

This is the level of excitement I generally reserve for my favorite band.

Note: I first saw Crumbling Arches perform live in April of last year. Wow, what a difference one year makes!

Over the past year, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of seeing Crumbling Arches perform a ridiculous seven times. I’ve come to find that each of the band members brings something both awesome and unique to the metaphorical table of rock. In the past, I’ve described the intense effect their music has on those who listen to it, but the band members themselves provide a live show experience that cannot be overlooked either. So, for anyone out there who’s interested, here’s how I (and many of my friends) view this group of musical adventurers…

I’ll start with singer/ guitar player Alex McKelvey because he’s the first one everyone notices, the quintessential front man. Basically, Alex is the “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” of the band, and in every way, he shows this. He brings a taste of danger, badassery, and sexual humor to everything he does. In fact, it can be argued that Alex’s mere existence was enough to put several college girls through a second puberty. Also, he is quite possibly the only person I’ve ever met who is (apparently) the proud owner of some “testicles of […] identity.” Honestly, though, he has a rather unique view of the world which he generously shares with all who care to listen to his song lyrics.

Singer/ guitar player Brian McGaw is the shadowed genius of the group, the experimental artist. A wonderfully sweet but elusive mystery, you’ll often find Brian behind the scenes, creating melodies, developing technologically fascinating devices, and testing out new ideas. As a determined perfectionist, he constantly works to improve the band’s image and performance, making each new show something definitely worth experiencing. Also, Brian demonstrates his rather incredible musical range both with his use of an array of different instruments and in his separate solo project, Aman Amun (described conveniently in the blog below). Furthermore, he too shares his delicious ponderings with the world through the lyrics that he writes.

Bass player Ian Hennessee has the lovely gift of making everyone in the audience feel special. His clear enthusiasm for the music permeates every space where he performs, and his bouncy demeanor and active presence fill the audience with quite a spectacular amount of anticipation and glee. However, most of all, Ian is known for his smile. Nearly every concert-going lass leaves the show convinced that he was smiling at her, and more than a few friendly fights have broken out after these shows with regards to this fact. Best of all, Ian is a genuinely friendly person who always takes the time to talk to all of the fans and to let them know how much he appreciates them.

During performances, you may not see Zachary Hennessee at first, banging away on his drums, but you’ll feel the wonderful rhythms and beats that bring a sense of completion and certainty to the Crumbling Arches melodies. Although he may be playing in the background, he’s far from being a background member of the band. Zachary shares a wealth of love for the fans at every show, and he’s always up for a hug and a chat. Even after the show ends, he makes sure that each fan knows that he hasn’t forgotten them, and he showers them with appreciation. It’s enough to make anyone feel incredibly important. Essentially, he completes the package of rocktacular perfection.

As a whole, Crumbling Arches manages to operate as one musical body. The harmonization of Brian’s and Alex’s voices creates a sound for the band that is wonderfully unequaled, and they share the task of entertaining the audience between songs with humorous anecdotes, interesting details about the songs, and clever sayings. Zachary and Ian’s talents combine to thrill the ear and intensify the rock quality of each of the songs. And, to top it all off, their collective fashion sense can only be described as spectacular. Basically, they are Crumbling Arches. No other words should be necessary.

Don’t miss their highly anticipated, end of the year performance on Friday, May 8th at the 40 Watt Club with The Presidents of the United States of America!

**Update (4/5/09): PUSA can no longer make the show, but Crumbling Arches will still be rocking the club that night. Be sure to check it out! It will be a FREE show!

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