Culture Collide: Day 1 & 2

Culture Collide started off to a slow rhythm-less start on Thursday with a happy hour sponsored by Canada & Switzerland where two Swiss bands, Disco Doom & Kassette, performed without a bassist. Both acts were talented, but the music wasn’t producing enough excitement to help inspire us for the weekend of worldly music ahead. This pattern would continue until inspiration was awoken at The Echo where Handshakes was about to take the stage. A five-piece power pop rock outfit that was just foot-tapping enough to arouse musical motivation & discovery for the weekend ahead.

After Thursday’s misfires, Friday was approached cautiously with arrival at Taix for Don’t Panic! We’re from Poland’s happy hour where Indigo Tree caught my eye. A three-piece mellow indie semi-electronic act full of harmony, but not so full of instruments. A guitar was present onstage accompanied with what looked liked a modern day DJ set-up but probably just a laptop/mixer full of effects – and that was it. The sheer uniqueness of this set-up kept me around longer than usual as the music was quite inviting.

Following Poland’s shindig, the Dutch invaded. Let’s just say the Dutch know how to rock! Three not-to-miss acts in a row: Death Letters, De Staat and Laura Jensen. Each act different from the last but extremely lively in personality, showmanship and musicianship. More specifically on De Staat later as I’m heading to their full set tonight at Echoplex (8pm). You’ll want to be there too.

Guineafowl held things down from Australia during their in-store at Origami Vinyl with some delectable indie pop complete with infectious hand claps and booty-shaking rhythms. If you enjoyed Free Energy’s b-side “Something In Common” then Guineafowl is right up your feel-good dance-your-butt-off musical alley. Their music video for “Little Fingers” is worth checking out as well.

And finally, Belgium’s The Black Box Revelation brought down the house with their raw Black Keys-esque style rock n roll. However The Black Box Revelation takes their jams to 11 (and then some)! Needless to say, Friday’s line-up excelled in all areas. Even The Postelles soundcheck was better than your average’s bands actual set. Looking forward to Day 3 kicking off here in a bit… More to come!