Smile Politely

A little help from our friends

Last night Cowboy Monkey played host to the tripped-out folk tunes of The Daredevil Christopher Wright as well as the familiar sounds of local favorites Santah and Common Loon. This show kicked off a three-stop tour with each band playing host for one show along the way. 

I’d say Common Loon, with a little help from homegrown Santah, did their part to start this tour off on the right foot. There was a great draw and a very positive vibe at the venue last night from a late 10 p.m. start all the way through the nearly 1 a.m. finish. 

Even though most of the members of Santah have moved on to Chicago it’s easy to see their roots are still firmly planted here in C-U. They opened up the night to a pretty packed house full of friends and fans. It’s always great to see Santah come back through town. Their sets always have an energized playfulness that is hard not to like. There is a reason they have been turning heads since their debut album White Noise Bed was released back in 2010. Their songwriting is catchy, inspired, and far from overrun by indie rock standards. 

After Santah’s energized set, The Daredevil Christopher Wright showed off their range with a pretty eclectic set list. They opened up their night with a sweet sounding a cappella tune and those bright harmonies carried on throughout the set. But that was one of the only constants. The rest of the show was a lesson in dynamics and melodic mood swings.

I don’t think it’s fair to pin the three Wisconsinites that make up DCW down as purely folk-pop. I actually had a hard time comparing them to any one band in particular last night and in my opinion that is a good thing. Their sound ranged from some fairly dark and emotional songs driven by beautifully arranged acoustic finger picking to a few driving electric guitar tracks as well. All three of these guys are extremely talented and if you have the chance to see them I hope you do.

Finally, at a little after midnight, Common Loon took the stage. If you haven’t heard these guys you should. And according to Paste magazine, you should listen to them, now, like right now.

Common Loon put on their typical set featuring spaced out indie rock that always manages to be in your face and dreamy at the same time. Matt and Robert have been playing together for a long time and it shows. Their sound is dialed in and they play with a tight chemistry that you can hear both live and in recordings.

All photos by Chris D. Davies. Check out our Facebook page for the whole album of photos.

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