Sometimes the best concerts are the ones where I know little, if anything, about the band I go see. Such was the case with this past Saturday’s Limbeck show at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Phoenix. My first live Limbeck experience, and I certainly hope not my last. This was an amazing evening my friends!
I missed the openers except for Civilia, and I am really glad I arrived in time to see them. With members of The Format and Seconds to Breathe in the line-up, Civilia delivered a stellar set jam-packed with a mix of indie-rock and shoegaze, reminiscent at times of a mesh of Explosions in the Sky and Juno. The guitar work was brilliant. I love hearing guitars that shimmer. This is a band I have to see again.
The headliner Limbeck was up next. I have to admit I only caught on to this band about a month ago, and that is because I discovered bass player Justin Entsminger is the bassist for one of my current favorite bands Source Victoria. Both of the singers/guitarists still live in California, Justin is here in Phoenix, and I believe the drummer currently lives in Minnesota. The band has not even practiced together for two years. The drummer was going to be in Phoenix, so since California is a brief drive away the show became possible. This is Limbeck’s only full-band performance during the spring, so the Valley of the Sun was pretty lucky to have them perform for us.
I did get an opportunity to check out some their material before the concert from the band’s official Limbeck MySpace page, and really enjoyed what I heard. Check out the video for Big Drag as well, great song and video!
Still, the brief introduction online to this band did not prepare me for what I heard on this evening. No joke, to this date Limbeck delivered my pick for Concert of the Year!
These guys delivered a rousing set of good old-fashioned rock and roll, with just enough Americana and country tossed in the mix to make things ultra-interesting. Limbeck would have fit in very well with the late 80’s-early 90’s Tempe scene. I loved every second of their set.
If it really has been two years since they have practiced together, then that makes this performance that much more impressive. I thought their set was extremely tight. Every song was played very well, and all four band members were well in sync with one another. To me there is nothing better than watching a great band fire on all cylinders when they get up in front of an audience. Limbeck was on this evening, and watching the appreciative crowd respond so well to them made the set that much better.
Even better was toward the end of the set the band kept claiming they had run out of songs to play that they knew, yet continued to take requests from the audience. Not only did they keep playing long after the announcement of “we have two more for you”, every song that they claimed to not remember was played extremely well, and to watch the band members interact with one another during that part of the set was a joy to watch. Some bands get onstage and take the whole process so seriously. I could tell Limbeck was genuinely having a good time.
Robb MacLean and Patrick Carrie both tore things up on vocals and guitar, Justin was a monster on bass, and Jon Phillip on drums completed a great foursome of outstanding musicians. This was a set delivered with tons of energy and sincere enthusiasm. Limbeck threw themselves into every song and just made me feel good to be a fan of good, live music. There was nothing complicated or pretentious here, just down and dirty rock and roll delivered with unbridled enthusiasm that made one feel 100% entertained. I had a marvelous time, and what is scary is other than a few scant songs, I really had no clue in regards to the set list. Limbeck won me over big time.
If you missed this show be bummed. Live music this good does not happen all that often, this was a special evening. Cheers, and thanks to Civilia and Limbeck for a great night of live music!