Valentine’s of Albany is known for hosting local bands and putting on shows that make people proud to live in the area. Well, folks, this show didn’t disappoint. The line up consisted of See You Next Year (SYNY), The Fallen Starlet, Nine Votes Shorts, and ExoVox.
The show kicked off with local band SYNY, a pop punk band with the job of getting the crowd pumped up for the rest of the show. Instrumentally, these guys brought the energy. They are able to create riffs that got the audience moving and the drummer was able to catch everyone’s ear by doing much more than keeping a beat. What makes this band stand out is the fluency that each member has with their respected instrument. They performed a five song set including an instrumental piece that highlighted the vocals of the two guitarist of the band, creating another layer to the show. The only thing that didn’t make this set perfect was the transitioning between the songs. It seemed like SYNY was trying to interact with the crowd with banter, which was unnecessary to do because their music is able to do that by itself.
They were followed by The Fallen Starlets, a band that traveled to Albany from Berkshire, MA to be a part of this show. They were donned in costumes ranging from a pair of red footed pajamas to a cowboy outfit. The Fallen Starlets had a look that was so unique and intriguing that I couldn’t walk away from the stage. Not only were these guys aesthetically something that I’ve never seen, but their sound was so weird in the best way possible. Self described as “catchy psychedelic gutter blues” this seemed to be the only wording that was truly fitting of these guys. This band was more than four people playing music; they were an experience that was so distinctive and fun that I highly recommend checking them out if they ever grace another stage in Albany again.
Following this band was local punk band Nine Votes Short. This is a younger band whom I’ve seen perform many times and each time they step on the stage they get better and better. They have started playing off the energy in the room more and therefore are becoming a more confident and entertaining band. They still have a lot to learn when it comes to stage presence, but they always interact more with the music and crowd every time they step on stage. During the set there was a technical difficulty with one of the amplifiers, but they maintained composure and handled it professionally- something to be admired by all. With more time and experience, this band has the potential to be a very successful punk band in the Albany area.
Closing the show was ExoVox another punk band from the 518. They had very good sound quality and their bass playing, infused with the rhythm created by the guitars was highly notable. They played an eight song set and each song was unique with the way they are musically constructed and it was clear they put a lot of time into, not only writing their music, but the order of their set list. That being said, I would have liked to see more of a connection between them and the crowd. Their stage presence wasn’t as notable as some of the other bands that played. I wanted them to engage the crowd more and make me feel more connected to them and their music. I think with more shows and practice they would be able to draw the crowd in to make their show a more personal experience.
I’d say for seven dollars (and five if you were twenty one and older) that this show was a great deal. The bands all tied into each other well stylistically and kept the crowd interested in the music. Valentines was able to deliver once again as a venue for some exceptionally talented local (and not so local) artists. If you are into the punk pop rock scene, then I would highly recommend checking out all of these bands, they are definitely worth a listen or even a Facebook like.