“All Cool Girls Have Bangs”: Waxahatchee at the Haunt

I walked into the Haunt on a school night stressed, irritated and wishing I’d stayed in instead of spending a good hour securing a ride and a companion to go see, what I was pretty certain, would be a perfectly pleasant and perfectly missable indie rock show: Waxahatchee. Missable, I mean, in the relative sense, that this is Ithaca, where a line-up as stacked as Monday night’s is not all that remarkable. Ithaca spoils us with such an unrelenting stream of incredible music flooding the bars and basements that my calibration is warped — must-see’s become missable, missables become flimsy “attends” on Facebook, and it ends up being a somewhat monumental feat to get myself out to a group I’ve never heard of before. What I mean to say is, if Waxahatchee is here one month, Angel Olsen or Girlpool or Kurt Vile or Sharon Van Etten will be the next. The crowd, looking like a Portlandia episode, was predictable; I figured the music would be too.

Of Montreal: A Bizarre Celebration at the Haunt

Pre-concert, I’d have described myself as having a casual familiarity with Of Montreal’s music: I’ve listened to a couple of their albums once or twice, and there are a few songs I listen to more frequently. But seeing them live on Tuesday at The Haunt piqued my interest in the band to a whole new level: their show was just as much a theatrical performance and psychedelic experience as a concert, adding a whole new layer to my perception of them as artists. The night started with opener Surface to Air Missive, a Tallahassee-based southern rock band whose sound was pleasant and uplifting. Their crystal clear, sunshiney riffs and high vocals created a very 70s-era sound reminiscent of the Allman Brothers and the Byrds. Their collective appearance as a band was a just-rolled-out-of-bed-in-my-polo look — a casual simplicity which created all the more of a contrast once Of Montreal took the stage.