Milwaukee's Plexi 3 stole the show Saturday at Footclan Headquarters as they played alongside three local favorites and Chicago's Smith and Westerns.
Footclan HQ shows start on time unlike club/bar shows, and I learned this the hard way. By the time I arrived a little after 10 p.m., Doomed Youth had already played, and The Customers were finishing up their set. Based on what little I heard from The Customers, earlier positive reviews of them still ring true.
The Stolen Hearts, who seem to play live almost as often as Predator, were next, as they kicked off the female-fronted goodness. Playing often is paying off, as the band is becoming a tight unit. We already knew Adrian and Greg are accomplished musicians, and Ashley established herself as a solid vocalist at the band's first gig back in February. The real treat is seeing their band mates develop into solid performers. Rachel is becoming a very solid drummer for someone who is in her first band, and Michelle is also coming into her own as a bass player.
Plexi 3 was next, as they played a short but effective set. Wendy, their guitarist and vocalist, led the way as the band played old songs like "Calculated Romance" and their cover of Love's "You I'll Be Following" and new tunes like "Timebox." The real surprise of their set, and their most recent batch of recordings, was "What Love is For." This song, written and sung by bassist Adam Widener, is like a punky tribute to the Monkees. It's brilliant live and on the "Timebox" record.
Smith and Westerns closed up the show with about two and a half songs. The Chicago-based band seemed to be a guitar-heavy nod to the '90's, but it is really hard to judge a band that was only two broken strings away from calling it a night. Regardless, you should expect these guys to get a lot of hype in the coming months, be that good or bad, as they have an LP coming out soon on Hozac Records.