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Monday, February 8, 2010

The Tunes of Kalvinova, the Science of Sound

See, this is exactly why I take the advice of my friends when they tell me to check out a certain band or another. Even missing a member and lacking the accoutrements of their full show, Kalvinova proved to be just plain amazing when they rocked WUOG's Live in the Lobby segment a few weeks ago. But how was their show last Friday at the Caledonia, complete with lights, screens, and wild energy? One word describes it all. BREATHTAKING.

But first, it was Florida band Quiet Science's turn to fill our ears with some dark melodies. Their lead singer's soft and unique voice quality, sounding a bit like that of a tortured soul, gave each of their songs a curiously intriguing style. Even from the back, however, it was drummer Charles Barrett who stole the show with his insane drumming and facial expressions. As the band's set ended, he leapt up, threw his drumsticks into the air, and ripped off his headphones with a feral look on his face. What a character!

Moments later, crowds of people flowed into the Caledonia, drawn to the inevitability of Kalvinova's set. Honestly, I've never seen this place so packed! For a band that's quite new to the Athens music scene, they've got an incredibly impressive fanbase. After seeing their set, though, I'm not the least bit surprised. Calling themselves "the scientists of sound," Kalvinova took over the stage, and the audience never looked back. If the band blew me away the first time I saw them, this time they left me in a state of euphoric shock.

Truth be told, it's not that surprising to see bands using screens to show pictures during their performances anymore. Kalvinova, however, took the use of their screen a million steps further. They skillfully chose videos, animations, and displays to craft projections that were fully synced with their songs so accurately that even their drumbeats were in time with what was seen onscreen. And, at one point, the lyrics of one of their songs danced across the screen as singer Luke Galloway belted them out. Awesome stuff! And their sound... Wow! Computer-generated backing tracks ran parallel with their live tunes to give their set an ethereal, larger than life feel. It was unlike any combination of sound styles I've heard before! Electronic, rock, alternative, indie, pop, rhythmic... their music is simply unclassifiable. Scientists of sound, indeed!

The fans were just having the time of their lives. Completely engrossed in the band's every move and every melody, they clapped, danced, leapt, and fist pumped their way through all of the tunes. People sang along to the songs like their lives depended on it. The Caledonia may be a rather small venue, but I felt like I was standing in a stadium amongst a thousand fans, all completely and irrevocably in love with the performers and the music. Kalvinova embraced the fans' undying devotion with a bit of love of their own. A friends of theirs in the crowd was celebrating her birthday, and the band took time out of their set to get the whole audience to sing Happy Birthday to her. What a moment! It's no surprise that, when their set ended, every person on the floor begged for more. Kalvinova graciously obliged, giving their fans a spectacular taste of one of their newest tunes. And that's not all. Just as we thought they were finished, Luke announced to the crowd that everyone was getting free CDs! Not only are they an unbelievable band, they do it all for the joy of the music itself!

Truly, the future of music has arrived in Athens, and its name is Kalvinova.

1 comment:

  1. Woo! I was at that show....! It was a great show and I highly recommend this band. They are really nice and excited! They tolerated my request of getting the entire band to sign my CD :) The lead singer also was very happy and really fun to be around!