— By Marie Taylor
— Photos By Ryan Ledesma
If you weren’t at the Old Rock House on Sunday, March 5th, then you truly missed out on some fun and memorable performances by the St. Louis band Guerrilla Theory and the North Carolina band, Big Something. If you’re one of the many that probably hasn’t heard of either group, that’s ok, you just need to fix this problem by looking them up or ordering Big Something’s new album, Tumbleweed. Both bands are known for their eclectic mashup of genres and use of multiple instruments to create distinctive and funky rock music, and the Old Rock House was the perfect setting for this type of musical diversity.
Opening for Big Something was the band Guerrilla Theory, a bluesy/reggae/funk/rock/hip hop (I’m not kidding) band from St. Louis, Missouri. This multi-faceted group was as eclectic as its music mashup, but man, did it all work together! There were times where I felt transported to a funky nightclub down south, then as soon as I got into that groove I was transported to Detroit in the ‘70s with a distinctly rock vibe. I couldn’t say what stood out to me most, the range of the lead singer’s vocals, or the incredible way that each musician complemented each other. I’m not a big reggae fan, but there was enough mix of rock and funk to break up the heavy beats of the reggae sound.
If I had to pick a word that could describe this band’s performance, it would have to be “fun”. Not only did this group bring their all and deliver some playful and funky music, but they also truly enjoyed themselves on stage and brought the joy and energy that makes a performance truly memorable. This band puts on a quality show and is worth the time and energy. There aren’t too many bands with this type of talent coming out of the Midwest, so the Lou better get its act together and start supporting this local group.
Set list for Guerrilla Theory:
Behind the Scenes
Next up was the main attraction for the night, the North Carolina-based band Big Something. With a newly released album, Tumbleweed, the six-man group Big Something is the better established of the two bands and had a more polished sound overall. While Guerrilla Theory played up the heavy drumming of the reggae genre, Big Something relied more on funk and some excellent guitar work to create their distinct rock n’ roll sound. Sometimes bluesy, sometimes psychedelic, this band’s sound is their own unique take on these established areas of rock. My final verdict: I love this band.
It was plain to see that these guys have spent years playing together, so the entire evening felt more like a fantastically rehearsed jam session rather than a showy performance. Seeing these guys play really made me think about past rock concerts I’ve been to where the performance seemed forced or lacking in energy. Watching Big Something is like seeing your favorite rock band before they get big and jaded by the experience of playing the same music. These guys are good at what they do, and it is evident that they play for each other as much as they play for the audience.
If you find yourself with nothing to do the next time this band’s in town (heck, even if you have something to do) take a break from life and check them out. You will not be disappointed, and I guarantee that you’ll find it even harder to not get up and dance during their performance. Even I had trouble limiting my movements to head bangs and feet tapping (after all, I was there in a professional capacity). This band has a fantastic sound and great energy, and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the bassist’s amazing flowing locks with wind machine action (like a beautiful ‘80s music video). I can’t wait to see them again when they come back to town, and this time I may actually get up and dance to my heart’s content.
It was fantastic seeing two unique and talented bands bring their all and deliver soulful and fun performances. I wish that the crowd was bigger for these two groups, but the size of the audience didn’t affect either group from delivering kickass performances. Keep these bands in your sights, as I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from them in the future.
Set List for Big Something:
Song for Us