Last night I had the pleasure of attending a wine party at Genève Café on Fremont Ave. For $18 a person we enjoyed all sorts of delicious little appetizers and seemingly unlimited pours on several African selections. And if that wasn't enticing enough, the cover included an intimate patio performance by local indie rockers Conservative Dad.
I am an enormous sucker for the small venue situation, and this band did not disappoint. The four of them are incredibly approachable people who seem to enjoy the actual connection with their audience as much as they love to play. There is not a hint pretension or self-absorbed snobbery among them, as can often be the case among musicians possessing this much talent. They even handed out gratis copies of their LP, which I now have on repeat. Yay!
While far from an acoustic set (these kids rocked out), they performed somewhat toned down versions of their songs in order to accommodate the close proximity of their patio stage. The set up was uncomplicated; no microphone, just a few guitar amps and pedals strewn about. One of which did delightful analogue-ish things that entertained me more than it probably should have...
Matt Batey's vocals are bright and endearing, the lyrics thoughtful and easy to relate to, and the rest of the band's backing vocals harmonized perfectly. I think my favorite tracks are currently the blue-collar ballad "Mighty Dollar" and the heartfelt "Full Time", but I kind of want to (and just may) make a ring tone out of "Too Late". It's the perfect sort of punkish temper-tantrum to roll out of bed to at 3:15 in the morning on a Monday, when the last thing in the world you want to do is drag your ass to work.
Con Dad's set was surprisingly longer than I would have expected to see from a band playing at a cafe. As the evening wore on and the stars came out, everyone was invited to move even closer and sit at their feet while they played. I frequently found myself utterly fascinated by the performance of a particular someone or other, yet there was never a moment where any one member's piece swallowed or overpowered another.
It was a perfectly rad way to spend a Friday evening. Surrounded in good company, good wine, and good music. I think the only thing missing was a campfire, but just as I found myself wishing for one, the scent of someone in the neighborhood grilling on their deck drifted past my nose.