...at the "Prophet Bar Big Room", which is actually just The Door - maybe they call it that to let you know booze will be served? dono.
Carter Hulsey, from Missouri, started things off. Solo acoustic, for the most part. Amazingly powerful voice. Definitely had the whole "tortured artist" thing down - very earnest, as the Piledriver would say. Enjoyable enough, but not overly compelling (to me, that is).
Stavely was up next. I've been wanting to catch these guys for a couple years now, after I saw them back in 2007 and fell in love, and they were as good as I remembered. Still love Tim's voice (tho his boot-camp haircut and extremely gay v-neck shirt were very distracting ;). Anyways, really enjoy their songs, which are definitely atypical in terms of their complexity, structure, and even length. Very nice set. EP due out soon.
Cory Branan, from Memphis, was up next. Solo acoustic. Liked this guy a lot. Not that his songs really resonated with me or anything - I just liked his attitude and stage presence. Alternately profane, funny, and self-deprecating, he definitely didn't take himself too seriously. Songs tended to be of the rambling, fast-talk-singing variety - not my fav, but he made me smile, anyways.
Good Old War, from Philly, was up next. Three-man band, one of whom was separated at birth from Paul Simon, which is very appropriate, given the comparisons to Simon and Garfunkel they are likely to engender. My gawd, I swear, their set was a religious experience for me. Absolutely beautiful acoustic folk tunes, with amazing three-part harmonies. Just gorgeous. All three of them came down into the audience for a few songs, which was awesome - it seemed like the entire crowd was singing along, with harmonies and everything, making for some really magical moments. It's so rare to see a band perform their songs with such intensity, such emotion, such joy. 'twas a beautiful goddam thing. one of the best sets i've seen in a very long time. The Honorary Title, from Brooklyn, headlined. Lead singer (Jarrod) separated at birth from Perry Farrell. Was a little worried at first, since it was only Jarrod on guitar and a keyboard player, but i shouldn't have been concerned - that dude's voice could pull off a show by itself. What an awesome, compelling voice. Definite Dashboard Confessional territory, but more low-key and nowhere near as whiny. Truly beautiful, anthemic, soaring, touching songs. Wonderful. Surf on over to DC9 to check out a partial clip.