Maryland comes to Carolina: Stillglow at the Ultimate Basement

Recently, I made an excursion to Mill Spring’s The Ultimate Basement to speak with owner, David “Gerb” Weisgerber. This particular evening, I was fortunate enough to catch Maryland based three piece Stillglow on the final leg of their “Motherland Collec-tour” with theirs buds, Tir Asleen. Unfortunatley, I arrived too late to catch Tir Asleen’s set.

I must say that I was impressed with this small alt-rock band’s big sound. They were definitely not your run-of-the-mill three chord, aggression-based band. Don’t get the wrong impression, there was aggression and anger in their music but spliced in between calmer melodies in what I consider a very healthy blend of rhythms and melody changes that bring you on the emotional rollercoaster right along with them. Songs were infused with soft, deep, melodramatic portions that would burst into high-energy rock, bordering on progressive music at times. They have drastic changes reminiscent of System of a Down with a little less anger or The Mars Volta/At the Drive in with a bit less spazz. They projected nearly as much energy from the stage to a crowd of about a dozen and as the aforementioned bands at an arena rock show.

Front man, Dan Haight has a voice that brings to mind Geddy Lee or Claudio Sanchez, though he seems to have a much more emotional singing style than the two. From deep heartfelt portions with seemingly randomly interjecting screams, to all out yelling and even full screaming, he certainly is pouring his soul from the stage to anyone who will hear.

Drummer, Hunter Lidbeck and bass player, Chris Perry form one of the best rhythm sections that I have seen. After all, who do you think brings all those ups and downs to life? Neither were technically badass but, not to give the wrong impression, knew their instruments well. They were very loud and full in the heavier parts of songs, and thinned down to a light fill in the more emotional parts. Chris deserves special notation for his extremely delicate tapping in some of the more mellow areas of the set, as I don’t believe I ever caught him adjusting his volume knob. Without this rhythm section, the music’s subtle nuances would not be portrayed well from a live stage.

At the seemingly normal end to a set, the guys unstrapped their guitars, put down their sticks, said their thanks and prepared to exit stage. The small, but mighty crowd just were not having that. As the applause continued, roars of “one more” and “encore” projected toward the stage. The guys in a kind of flabbergasted manner, looked toward one another and somewhat shrugged at each other as if they had no idea how to take this. After only a moments hesitation, they picked their instruments back up and started into “one more” final track. This song in particular grabbed me. It may simply have been the opening guitar chord slowly picked giving off that eery vibe. It could be the way the way that the song almost seemed to breath in and out, as it progressed through its ups and downs. Or, it may have been the final return to that opening chord, echoing through the speakers as they exited the stage. Whatever it was, it left me with a slight chill, that I enjoyed.

On top of bringing us some awesome tunes, these three are great guys. In spite of the long drive to Wilmington ahead of them for the next nights show, they hung out for quite a while talking with fans, Gerb, and myself. Gerb told me the story of how they hid money in the venue, never mentioning a thing. He explained that a couple of weeks later, he had received a call from a stranger, telling him where to look but not what he would find or who had put it there. He later, by means of reasonable deduction, figured out who had left it and called them out on it.

After the show, in our brief talks, the guys of Stillglow proclaimed their love of the Ultimate Basement. This was their fourth appearance there. Four trips from Maryland, I would say, speaks for itself. They also made mention of some unpleasant experiences while on tour, general lag and exhaustion from twelve shows from Florida to Pennsylvania in just over two weeks. They went on explaining that the Ultimate Basement really cheered them up and got them back on their feet to make it through the last few nights on the road.

I don’t know if this is the case, but if this is the Maryland sound, thanks guys for bringing it to Carolina. It was just my style and I will be looking out for your return.

Stillglow is currently completing the first installment, Pride/Envy, of their seven deadly sins cd series. The tracks are recorded and ready for final mixing and mastering. They raised a large portion of the funds for the needed mixing time from the sale of $2 demo cd’s on this tour. It is my understanding that at the time of this writing the rest of the money to complete the project has been raised via internet donations. The release date for Pride/Envy is not yet known.

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Still Glow, a set on Flickr.

 

Stillglow are :

Hunter Lidbeck – drums

Chris Perry – bass / backing vocals

Dan Haight – guitar / vocals

Find them online at

stillglow.com

myspace.com/stillglow

purevolume.com/stillglow

facebook.com/stillglowmd

For booking : Booking@Stillglow.com

For Press : theband@stillglow.com


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