GUEST BLOGGER: Mandi Kimes
The Shelters began their set with a song that starts similar to The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine,” with the drum hits and the single guitar introducing the band into the melody, before amping up into a jet-fueled rock jam. Sure; they are the typical rock band with blaring guitars, driving bass, and crashing drums, but it’s like comparing The Shelters to rock greats of the 60s, such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Kinks. However, lose the 60s psychedelia and British flare and you have an American rock band with roots into 60s rock music.
By the time the second song begins, it becomes apparent that I should’ve brought my earplugs. Their music has that “thump-thump” factor in the drums that truly allows the kick drum to resonate in their songs, while the bass drives the beat home and maintains a melody that sweeps across the whole instrument. By this time in their set, the ballroom had filled up, as the previous set saw a bare room with most of the audience – though rather older – filling the seats in the back.
Before performing the unreleased track “Surely Burn,” Jacob Pillot breaks another guitar strap, causing singer Josh Jove to proclaim, “Jacob needs another minute,” before confessing, “ This is my worst fear.” The problem is resolved, and the song – which will be featured on their upcoming album – moves in and out between an up-tempo dance and slowed-down choruses with reverberated guitars. The instrumental break midway through contains subtle arpeggiated guitar with a romp-like drum. The guitar solo by Jove was well-crafted and not self-masturbatory, as some solos can be.
Guitarist Chase Simpson introduces their next song as “the most dancy song,” but little did they know that Phoenix is not a city that dances at concerts. However, the band continues into “Get Out,” which has elements of Stray Cats, with their similar sound and chord structures. Following “Get Out” is a tune that resembles Kings of Leon meets The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, which is called “Fortune Teller,” from their debut EP. Sebastian Harris truly shines on the drums in “Fortune Teller,” and the guitars maintain their buzz. It’s at this point in the show when I realize this is my favorite song from their performance.
After performing their hit “Liar,” they transition quickly into an extremely fast-paced jam filled with impressive guitar work and the drummer looking like he just chugged a Red Bull. After powering through this track, they transition using mallets on the cymbals and reverb-soaked guitars into a song reminiscent of “Last Dance With Mary Jane,” which then makes sense why Tom Petty would choose to produce their EP. The song contained harmonies that complimented each other very well in the verses. The band then moved into “The Ghost is Gone,” a bluesy-rock ballad that contained desert-sounding guitars and a jazz beat on the hi-hat. It’s swamp blues at its finest.
The Shelters started their last song of the set by amping up the crowd to clap and jump along. Jacob showed off his bass chops in the intro with an infectious bass line. Since this show was the last on tour with The Dandy Warhols, they had decided to go all out and let loose and allow their fingers fly on their instruments.
The outro fueled the crowd and got them ready for The Dandy Warhols. Phoenix became a fan of The Shelters, which makes it extremely fortunate they live so close, so hopefully we can seem them more often.