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Originally posted on February 23, 2009

From the heart came the music of La Res on Monday night.  Drawing on all sorts of ’70’s grit, La Res genuinely arrive at something new, though this last fact is unfortunately not quite yet captured in their recordings.  Nonetheless, it was palpable during their live performance.

The audience picked up on the lead singer’s energy right away during the first song, called “Dust Child,” and likewise became somber when he announced in the middle of the set that “these next three songs were inspired by conversations I had with soldiers,” specifically those suffering from PTSD.  Thus began what he called the “war” portion of their set, leading off with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,” the singer and guitarist wailing through the verse “all the money you make will never buy back your soul.”  During the middle eight section of the dark song “Trapeze,” the singer, moving his face away from the microphone, screamed savagely, with very disturbing results.  Continuing in this vein was “Valley of Nowhere”: “When this guy gets to his darkest place, some crazy thoughts come into his mind.”

Moving out of the war section, the band played “Freedom Song,” the lyrics for which were written after Obama won the election.  In a suprisingly catchy move, the chorus featured Bee Gees-esque harmonizing between the lead singer and the drummer on the lyrics “Can you see the light?”  Underscoring this line was a repeating “lament” bass line (4 notes moving downwards).  After singing happy birthday to their manager, La Res finished out their set with “Stand,” which began with the guitarist live looping himself and grew into a rowdy, harder song, inspiring some of the male audience members to form a kind of mini-moshpit.

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