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Sonny Tripp @ CBTG’s Review

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It was a damp, foggy Saturday night, but it was rather mild compared to the weather we’ve been having as of late. I think this, paired with the lack of wind, seemed to get people to venture outside.

The familiar smell of Subway was wafting about the air in the small CBTG’s bar, and there were just a few people sitting at the bar when I arrived. The lone light bulb at the far left corner, paired with the Christmas tree on the corner of the bar ledge, are providing the stage with a dull glow that bounces off the pieces of garland hanging about the stage.

Elk & the Elderly are new to the St John’s scene, but they’re making a name for themselves pretty quickly after the release of their first EP. They’re the first to play and as they take the stage, people start filtering into CBTG’s.

Before the first song was over, there were 20 or 30 people working their way to the stage, obviously enjoying what they heard with their heads bobbing along. One guy at the front was obviously a big fan, completely into all the songs and singing along with each lyric as he bounced about.

While the band first comes across as just another generic rock band, they quickly spice it up as the two guitarists play off of each other really well, and the vocalist has a very unique voice. They throw the keyboard into the mix and create some really cool layering of the instruments. Even through there were some mic issues, they still kept going and pulled off the songs with grace. Elk & the Elderly were a great way to start off the night.

Next up were Sonny Tripp and it was evident that they were the band people were here for. Everyone started coming inside from their smoke breaks and there was a line up to get in as the place quickly filled up.

Even though this was their first show in several years, it was extremely hard to tell. The four members have played in various bands with each other over the past ten years and they’ve created some incredible chemistry between them.

They opened up with the first two tracks from their newest EP.  “Once Again”, a short, rather quiet tune, to get people’s attention and continued right on into the next track, “Once More”. When the drums kicked in, the crowd started moving. Several girls were dancing about, while several others were overheard reminiscing of a time in the 90’s when you could hear such great alternative rock songs on the radio.

By the third song, “Police Car”, the distorted guitar and upbeat drums had captured everyone’s attention. Several people were singing along, but the whole bar was either bouncing along or tapping their toes.
This set the tone for the rest of their set. Distortion and effects pedals created engaging sounds from the guitars, mixed with interesting bass lines, all while the drummer never missed a beat – they created catchy little tunes that will definitely stick in your head for days.

Despite the mic issues returning for Sonny Tripp’s set, they didn’t miss a note. The lead vocalist, slipped back and forth effortlessly to different guitars throughout the night, and joked about how easy it is to tell they don’t use auto-tune, which is definitely refreshing to hear these days.

There was a great mixture of songs from their repertoire as they played tracks from everything they’ve released over the years and it was quite obvious that it was enjoyed by everyone. In between songs, there were comments of “awesome”, and “I’m impressed.” The band were even getting pats on the back throughout the show.

Trying to get outside after their set was a little crazy, as there were people crammed into every little crevice of CBTG’s to hear them.
To finish off the show, Those Lasers continued with the night’s theme of catchy songs that make everyone want to bounce along.

It was only last May that they had played their first show in this bar but it was evident that they’ve progressed quite a lot since then. They’ve begun to mesh really well musically as they got to know each other better, and it’s apparent they absolutely love what they’re doing.

While many in the crowd had disappeared, the bar was still half full and as soon as Those Lasers took to the stage, people felt compelled to move towards them. The bass lines were resonating against the walls of the tiny bar and the garland strung about was bouncing along with the crowd. The guitars in their songs always have captivating riffs and everyone tried to get closer to the music as they sang and bopped along. The upbeat tunes with spontaneous transitions kept everyone on their toes.

It was a delightful way to end the night as everyone went home with a smile on their face and a catchy tune stuck in their heads.

Sonny Tripp set List:
Once Again/Once More
Police Car
These Things Take Some Time
New Motive
The Bends (Radiohead? Cover)
Celebrated Fools
They’ll Make Us Believers
So Long

By: Christa Cram