Reptar @ Rough Trade; A Music Overload

I was thoroughly blown away by the overload of back-to-back talent at Friday night’s show at Rough Trade. The first opener, Meth Dad, performed a high energy set in the middle of the audience, eliciting a call-and-response interaction with the crowd. Surrounded by large, inflatable Christmas decorations, he finished his set by collapsing into a pile on the floor. Then came Brothertiger, another solo performer who projected his own unique energy into the crowd, this time from the confines of the stage. The highlight of his set was his excellent rendition of Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place.” The penultimate act, Stranger Cat, somehow managed to surpass the high bar set by her predecessors. The brainchild of Brooklyn’s own Cat Martino, Stranger Cat filled the hall at Rough Trade with her soulful vocals and powerful supporting band. I was overwhelmed to day the least, but nothing fell short of straight up awesome.

Finally, however, it was Reptars turn to take the stage. The Athens, GA group produced bouncy synth-pop highlighted by singer/guitarist Graham Ulicny’s very unique vocal performance. Bassist Ryan Engelberger, keyboardist William Kennedy, drummer Andrew McFarland, and guitarist Jace Bartlet round out the five-some and provided more than enough energy to completely saturate the packed house at Rough Trade. They released their new album, Lurid Glow this past spring, and in performance they managed to strike a pleasant balance between their old and new material. I managed to catch a short video of my favorite song, Rainbounce, from their debut album, Body Faucet:

Reptar will continue their summer tour into the Midwest this week, culminating in a show in Chicago on Sunday night.