Thursday night at Star Bar once again proved to be an eventful musical evening in Atlanta. While others chose to partake in various endeavors across town or were too afraid to venture out on a weeknight those of us that packed the dark smoke filled room on Moreland Avenue were treated to a night of music that made our ear holes tingle. Four bands took the stage each bringing something different to the night from grungy rock (Blackfox), electric sex funk (The Greater Vavoom), 80’s synth-pop (Scale Model) and bad ass rock & soul infused hip-hop (Heavy Mojo). Giving everyone plenty of time to get self-lubricated; the music started late Thursday night and ended much later. The music kept pumping, the asses kept shaking and the beverages kept flowing well into Friday morning.
Closing the shin-dig down was Atlanta’s favorite resident hip-hop rockers Heavy Mojo. These dudes give 150% with every show leaving the crowd just as exhausted as their fans. Fronted by Simon Stone and B-Dirty, the duo effortlessly traded vocals belting out lyrics as if they were in each other’s heads, never once stepping on one another. With Jeremy Avalon (guitar), DigiGost (bass) and Dr. Dog (drums) in support the music was loud and better than any of today’s sample/ auto tune driven hip hop out there today. The classic Mojo tunes “Radio” and “Hip Hop Ain’t Dead” were raw and booming with the soulful “Later” showing they are more than a loud and in your face entity. They closed the show with “Headlights” a personable tune that demonstrates the groups lyrical abilities and the funkified arrangement on “Bright Light Big City” was brilliant. I have yet to attend a Heavy Mojo show and be disappointed and Thursday night was no different. Their music draws in a varied audience and the shows come across more like a DIY punk show than anything else. I highly suggest you catch them whenever the opportunity this you.
Before Mojo destroyed the joint, Nashville’s Scale Model brought a big production and a big sound to the stage. Not knowing what to expect I was a bit impressed with their show when all was said and done. Matching translucent guitar, bass and drums that lit up, a keytar with multiple colored lights and a smoke machine lent to the theatrics, but did nothing to impede the music. Playing songs from their debut album Star the band exuded a vibe similar to 80’s favorites Missing Persons, with maybe a bit more rock edge to the music. Their set was high energy and loaded with spontaneity as their music built to a crescendo and ended with a massive ball of noise, smoke and lights that walked a thin line between brilliant orchestration and utter chaos. I plan on catching these guys again whenever they roll back in to town.
One of the favorite local bands out there today is the Greater Vavoom. Assembled with pieces from various other local bands they have harnessed the power of James Brown, Elvis and Rick James to provide listeners with down and dirty funk music. Thursday night they took the stage and assaulted patron’s ears with chunky rhythms, vicious guitar hooks, thumping grooves and lyrics that ranged from sexy to lewd & lascivious. Their set had the crowd jacked as the funky music hypnotized most of the folks in attendance. Once the music and smoke settled down the temperature in the room had risen multiple degrees leaving the place hot and sweaty.
For those that arrived early enough experienced music from local band Blackfox. They supplied an evening’s worth of grungy guitars as they sludged through their dark and brooding set. As they plowed through there set I could not help detect a bit of Nirvana, Screaming Trees and Alice In Chains influences throughout the tunes. Their music was in stark contrast to the rest of the night’s entertainment but that was OK because it was a night of differences.
When the evening finally came to a close, everyone that stuck around until 2am was satisfied yet exhausted. The differences in the 4 bands played a majpr role in how exceptional the night of music was. There was something for everybody and when Heavy Mojo left the stage everyone was exhausted. I suggest you check these bands out, they do not disappoint.