Valina was up first. they hail from Austria, and have played with the Paper Chase in Europe. And oh my gawd, were they fantastic. I mean, that was one of the best sets I have seen in a long, long time (and i've seen my share). I loved it. Very unique song structures, absolutely amazing drum work, had elements of hardcore metal, noise-rock and math-rock. Some songs almost sounded a bit like Austrian folk songs (or at least, what I think those would sound like). Wonderfully complex, beautiful stuff. Ended up buying both the EP and the CD. Gave 'em every last dollar i had on me - you gotta support those touring bands.
Astronautilis continued the greatness. Never seen him before, even though he comes thru quite a bit. Phenomenally talented dude, and funny/smart as hell. I knew he was a rapper, but i didn't realize how much more to his music there was. What a fantastic, emotion-filled growl of a voice - sounded very Tom Waits-like sometimes. Armed with only a laptop, he'd kick off a track, then sing, rap and flail around the stage much like a televangelist in a religious fury. It was an awesome spectacle - i could not take my eyes off him. an incredible, emotional, high-energy performance. I vowed that night to never miss another one of his shows, if i could help it. woulda bought his new CD, if i hadn't given all my cash to Valina.
The Paper Chase capped off the night with an amazing set full of their brand of slightly off-kilter, strangely structured but very catchy and highly entertaining tunes. energetic frontman John Congleton did not disappoint (at least, me), flailing around the stage (lots of flailing that night), punctuating many of his lines with his trademark expectoration (sure hope he doesn't have swine flu). thought the keyboard playing and vocals by sean were great (but you knew I'd say that). anyways, it was an awesome set to finish off an awesome night.