Show Photos: Blizzard at Sea, Centaur Noir, Land of Blood and Sunshine, Mondo Drag, Brooks Strause and the Intrusions – 3/5

Another exhausted Sunday. I got my face rocked off at the Wherehouse last night. Blizzard at Sea, Centaur Noir, Land of Blood and Sunshine, Mondo Drag and Brooks Strause and the Intrusions for a $5 cover. Unbeatable. Two bands with singing drummers, a buncha Mission Creek performers and a whole lot of loud noise.

I am not a huge metal fan, but if I was, I would be really into Blizzard at Sea. Even as a non-metal fan, I can appreciate how good they are. They have a really tight drummer and a lead singer able to produce remarkably gruff, cookie monster vocals.  Some of their songs seemed pretty long, though the blaring, beautifully distorted guitar likely created a time warp that made me lose track of how long they really were playing. I’d see this band again despite my general anti-metal sentiments.  Blizzard at Sea will be playing Mission Creek this month, March 30th at the Blue Moose Tap House.

Centaur Noirplayed for us as well. Sadly, I missed part of his set picking my beau up from work and dragging him to the show, but what I did hear was interesting and completely the opposite of what I heard from Blizzard at Sea. Centaur Noir mixed the sounds of electronic music and guitar melodies into a series of songs that remind me of the early 90s, making a little cocktail of dance music and grungey vocals. At times, he kind of gets this atonal, rougher sound to his voice that reminds me of shit like, oh, i can’t think of a specific band..maybe Stabbing Westward, if anybody remembers that. Perhaps not the best example, but it’s the best I can do. This fella will be playing with Meth and Goats on April 2nd at the Wherehouse.

I was really excited to see Land of Blood and Sunshine. This band out of Marshalltown rarely plays in Iowa City, which is a tragedy. I was so impressed by the sound they created. Made up of 5 members (two guitars, bass, SINGING drumer and keyboardist/tambourine maniac),  they created music that filled that whole warehouse. This is the kind of music that makes me want to drink whiskey, dance and stomp my feet.  They’ll be playing Mission Creek on April 1st with Poison Control Center, Birth Rites and Mumfords at the Blue Moose Tap House. I strongly recommend you get in there to hear them.

Another group slated for Mission Creek that I was privileged to hear last night was Mondo Drag.  In my opinion, this Davenport band is one of the heavy hitters in the Iowa music scene (also with a singing drummer).  I hate to be cliche but they have mastered the sound of classic rock.  They create a sound so thick that you can reach out and grab it.  They drew a dense crowd, making it hard for me to worm my way around for photos – nobody was giving up their spot. I’ve seen Mondo Drag only three times, but I have already fallen in love with the music they make. Catch them March 30th at the Blue Moose Tap House with Blizzards at Sea, The Freemasons and Native.

The evening was brought to a grand close with Brooks Strause and the Intrusions, consisting of Brad Highnam, Cole Highnam and Skye Carrasco. Everybody knows these are some of my favorite local musicians. Brooks sang some songs I hadn’t heard before, which is always a good thing. I especially enjoyed his cover of Tom Waits’, I’ll Shoot the Moon. When he brought out the intrusions, the whole deal got louder and even better. Brad banged the shit out of those drums, and I got a big kick out of hearing the audience yell “more fiddle!!”  Brooks and the Gorey Details, composed mostly of the same members, will be performing for Mission Creek on April 3rd at the Mill. Skye Carrasco will also be playing a solo set at the Mill on April 1st.  Top to bottom, this was a great way to spend a Saturday night. Cozied up in a giant wherehouse getting blasted in the face with great music.

I love the wherehouse. I really do. But taking photos in there is a nightmare most of the time. One red light shining on the band, a couple super bright white lights behind them, and the rest is dark.  I say this only  because some of these photos kinda stink. Some I really like, but I always want to bring you better shots than what I can produce, well, in the dark. So be forgiving as you look at them, just try to imagine you were there in the dark, too. And if you weren’t, why the hell not?