There was a strong turnout at the WPC Presents showcase last night, featuring eight indie rock bands and songwriters on two floors of the Bear Brew Pub. It’s really nice to see musicians from all over Maine, all in one place, all on one night — even if it was approximately 900 degrees below zero. Mainers won’t let anything slow them down, will they? The show started with The Other Bones out of Portland, who were as refreshing and fun as their recorded stuff indicated. Vocalist Loretta Allen sure has some impressive pipes, and the electronic wizardry of Andy Mead paired with Eric Bruce’s guitar crunch made for a stellar start to the show. After that came Boxes, also out of Portland, who have the unique distinction of having two lead singers – not unheard of, but a very pleasant surprise. They play a piano-heavy brand of indie rock, not unlike Cursive, Spoon, and even, in places, the XX. Downstairs at the Bear Brew it was all acoustic singer-songwriters, beginning with Bangor’s own Scott McAllister. Followed by the Portland-based Taillons, who has a remarkable, distinctive alto voice… And then James Reiss, who is based in St. Albans and is regularly seen at Paddy Murphy’s open mic night. Upstairs, the fun continued with Orono’s own Frank and the Redhots, who brought a crowd of college-age dancers, who love their blend of jam band funkiness and tuneful rock songwriting, bringing to mind everyone from MGMT to Dr. Dog. Lit on the Flash, out of Wells, are two-thirds of the extremely popular early-2000s Maine band Jeremiah Freed. They’ve stripped down their sound to a power trio, and through their obvious love of The Who and Pearl Jam remains, there’s also a nice kind of soulful rock vibe going on, like the Black Crowes or the Black Keys. A good jolt of straight up rock n’ roll is always welcomed. The night ended with a reunion show of Bangor’s Queen City, who are on indefinite hiatus as all four members of the band are in three other bands (When Particles Collide, Temperature of the Sun and Tree Streets). But that doesn’t mean they can’t rock as hard as they always have. Power pop punk rock pleasure, straight from the banks of the Penobscot. Win.
Emily Burnham is a Maine native, a UMaine graduate, a proud Bangorian and an arts and lifestyle writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food, from media and the Internet to theater and dance. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra, to name just a few. She's interested in everything -- especially if it happens in Maine. She welcomes any and all feedback or suggestions for stories.Follow @rockblogsterbdn