For being such a new band, Takahashi sure does know how to pack a house.
After seeing them play live a few times, it’s easy to see why: the band’s music sits somewhere between Pavement, Weezer, and early ’90s punk rock. The songs have that weirdly familiar sound to them; like you’ve heard them before but you can’t remember where.
Frontman Richard Willoughby’s stage presence is a refreshing break from the sometimes self-important air a lot of other singers have about them. He puts on a show for sure, but he goes about it in an almost sarcastic way. After certain songs he would tell fans that they had been “thoroughly defeated” and then bow like he was in a kung fu movie. It’s like he’s aware of how ridiculous his job is, but even more aware of how damn fun it is. Drummer Jeff Dirkes and bassist Jeff Trageser provided a solid foundation for the speedy and dynamic sound Takahashi is quickly becoming known for. Their set was energetic, fun and left everyone smiling.
And when they finished their performance, they also left the Soda Bar at about half capacity. Unfortunately, those who left missed out on a very surprising set by a band called Lyon Crowns. Soaked in psychedelia, this band came out and played with a super heavy sound. The lead singer sang in a deep, powerful growl that sounded so much like Jim Morrison, it was hard to believe Morrison’s soul hadn’t found an unlikely new residence. The Lyon Crowns are definitely onto something special — hopefully we’ll hear more from them soon.
The crowd started to gather again as the headliners, a duo called Gloomsday, took the stage. A girl/guy drummer/guitar duo, Gloomsday played a solid set of dark and serious rock music to a crowd that seemed to be on a dark and serious trip.
It was a night of some very divergent music at the Soda Bar. How these bands came together or what they had in common is anybody’s guess. But as high quality as each band was last Thursday, the evening belonged to Takahashi. It’s really no wonder that people don’t stick around for musical roulette after Takahashi leaves the stage.
Photos – Takahashi, The Lyon Crowns, and Gloomsday at the Soda Bar