Honor By August at Iota

Honor By August 4

Originally uploaded by tbridge.

Saturday evening brought two great things together at least: good gumbo and good rock music. I found myself with a dilemma: with just an hour before showtimes, our usual standby restaurants in Clarendon were quoting 30-45 minute wait times. Stunned and disappointed, we gave the Iota Cafe a try before the concert.

The Iota Cafe, part of the ever famous Iota Club and Cafe, serves light fare, and a mean seafood gumbo, in a small space with about 10-15 tables. Prices are reasonable, and I was actually really impressed with the seafood gumbo I had. Their wine list is pretty good as well, with a nice bottle of red wine running around $30, dinner for two with wine and dessert can run less than $100 with tip, which isn’t shabby with alcohol and service included.

The opening band for the evening was Color Side, which took advantage of pretty much every modern rock cliche: stylish guitar player hides behind his hair and rocks while staring at his feet, lead singer gives up on the microphone and turns his back to the audience to rock with the keyboard player because it’s all about the muuuuuusic, man! They were solid, but cliched.

Elevator to Space (whose website I love its unix geekery) was the middle band, serving as an excellent bridge from the cliched-but-good Color Side and the very excellent Honor By August. Their mixture of Doves-inspired jam rock and good ol’fashioned rock and roll kept the crowd’s attention and inspired some dancing, but it was clear that this was a crowd for Honor By August alone.

As soon as Elevator to Space was done with their set, the crowd moved en masse to fill the small gap between the front of the stage and the patrons already there. They played a rousing set, closing out with several new songs from the upcoming album. Evan Fields can really wail on guitar, and Michael Pearsall’s vocals are topnotch. The lightshow, put on by the guys who do the lights for Widespread Panic, was excellent and added to the incredible instrumentals for the evening.

Going out to Iota reminded me how much I love good live music, and I think I’ll have to start heading out there more often.

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