Friday, July 8, 2011

18. Zach Balch at Club Dada, 7/7/11

18. Zach Balch, at Dada.

Smooth vocals, background-ready melodies.

The last act in our count on day Forty-Two was Americana alt-country singer from Denton Zach Balch, with his band (keyboards, bass, drum).  

The vocals were very pleasant, earnest, and clear; the players are solid and capable.  They had a decent Wilco-as-bar-band vibe going.

There was little to no energy or infectious stage presence.  Zach seemed to be proficient enough in the songwriting department but, his work not being familiar to us, it did not immediately catch our attention. Perhaps if we were to hear these songs repeatedly on the radio we would like them well enough.

Friend T, there to see Tiger Darrow, offered his opinion: "It's a bit Counting Crows."  We agreed; but a blander Counting Crows, or perhaps a tired Train.

About four songs into the set, Zach did a few new songs with only the keyboards to accompany his voice and guitar.  It did not make it more interesting, and the lyrics, more discernible at that point, were cliched.   Friend T made an analogy to literature: there needs to be conflict in order to keep the reader interested.  In Zach's songs, we heard no edge, no problem to be solved, no drama.

In sum: Zach Brach is not bad at what he does.  His band is competent and he has a great voice; did we mention that?  But we weren't interested in the songs, there was no energy, it was uninspiring, and we didn't want to keep listening.   Sorry, but in the competition for least impressive Zach of this project, we have a new front runner.


Later on we caught the last few songs on an O's set at the Common Table. we caught some of O's show. We've already reviewed them, so they don't count toward out Official Band Count, but perhaps we haven't yet fully expressed our admiration for the band, and that needs to be redressed.  R made the comment in our tweet feed, worth repeating, that "the O's play more instruments with their feet better than you with your hands, mouth, and any other parts you care to name combined."  N noted that the difference between the show we'd just seen and this one was instantly clear: two guys in a small room with acoustic instruments created more energy, joy, emotion in one song than that entire four piece band did in their whole set.  Their cover of Roger Miller's "Dang Me" was a treat, and they also paid homage to Sorta with a cover.

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