Two Cow Garage, Live @ Mohawk Place
October 22, 2010
Welcome to the first ever concert review on the Library Punk. I went to this show on Friday and decided to take the weekend to think about it, rather than write the review right away. After all, how do you accurately summarize one of the best shows you have ever been to?
The show took place at Mohawk Place, a bar in Buffalo, NY. I had never been this venue before. It reminded me of my favorite bar in Dunkirk/Fredonia, only somewhat bigger. I liked the venue, and now that I know how easy it is to get there and get back to Dunkirk I would definitely go to another show at this venue.
The first band of the night was a post-hardcore band called from Vancouver called Carpenter. I had never heard of the band before seeing them on the concert bill, but they were amazing. Very high energy, with the members bouncing all over the stage. They kinda remind me of a poppier version of Hot Water Music as well as The Loved Ones. Definitely the kind of band I like. The songs were great and very well performed. I'm gonna have to check out their album.
The second band was a pop-punk band from Michigan called Cheap Girls. Interesting name, more great music. I was a bit more familiar with this band due to my interest in Quote Unquote Records, who offered a free/donation album from the band called Find Me A Drink Home. They were a bit more stationary than Carpenter, but no less energetic. The singer kinda reminds me of a punk rock Stephen Page (formerly of Barenaked Ladies), with a little bit of Josh Caterer (of Smoking Popes). In addition to being a punk crooner and a great bass player, he was also funny, at one point lightly making fun of an audience member for standing in front of the speaker.
Then finally Two Cow Garage came on stage. And they were phenomenal. I thought Carpenter were energetic, but Two Cow Garage made them look like shoegazers. Singer/guitarist Micah Schnabel and bassist/singer Shane Sweeney were all over the stage when not singing, crashing into each other quite often while never missing a note. And whenever he was at the mic but not playing guitar, Micah did a weird sort of dance (check out the music video for "Lydia" for an example"). They played every song I was hoping to hear, even though at least 2 or 3 of them I expected them to not play. I love those songs on the albums, but they took on an all new life hearing Micah (and in some cases Shane) sing them in person. The show ended and I wondered over the merch table, only for someone from the bar to walk over and tell Micah the band had to keep playing because the crowd wasn't leaving. So they played 3 or 4 more songs. I ended up right in front of the stage at that point, and hearing Micah sings some of my favorite songs from less than 10 feet away easily made the top 10 moments of my life.
Overall, the show left me very optimistic about music. People are debating the future of music right now because of piracy and the impending failure of labels, and lamenting the overall lack of good music on the airwaves, so to see three bands playing amazing music just because they want to play it was uplifting. Watching Carpenter, Cheap Girls and Two Cow Garage play their hearts out on stage made me realize that that's why I want to start a band. Not so I can play arenas, not so I can play Warped Tour, but so I can play music I believe in to 50 or 60 people in the back of a bar that are there because they want to hear it.
It was just an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. Easily one of the best shows I've ever been to.