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Concert Review: Siberian Traps at Lola's

Siberian Traps Lola’s Saloon 2736 West 6th St. Fort Worth www.lolasfortworth.com

Posted 9:51am on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013

I love live music on Sundays. It’s the day that clubs give a chance to new or unknown acts, and on some days there is nothing I crave more than finding a new (at least to me) band.

Sunday was just such a day, and I headed up to Lola’s on 6th the check their Sunday evening offerings.

The opening band was an outfit called Siberian Traps. The band -- Seth Reeves (vocals, guitar), Parker Donaldson (vocals, guitar), Mike Best (bass), and Pete Wierenga (drums). The band apparently emigrated from Nashville (except for Funkytown native Mike Best, formerly of Skeleton Coast), and they bill themselves as “Deranged party music breaking forth at a revival meeting.” As good a description as any I guess. Although new to us, they’ve been around a few years.

The band has kind of a folksy, Americana edge to it, but they go above and beyond that. The musicianship and songwriting is first-rate, Mike’s bass lines are energetic and driving (as usual), and although a little discordant at times, they make it work and keep it interesting. The band built energy nicely over the duration of the set.

Seth’s vocals tend towards a Neil Young kind of sound, but at times he was seriously off pitch. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but it detracted from an otherwise solid performance.

Aside from the vocal issues, I really liked this band. Get the pitch problems under control and this should be a band to watch.

In between sets, Lola’s is a great place to people-watch. Lots of off-duty local rock stars were there, including Ray Liberio of the Me Thinks, John Stevens and Scott Vernon of Sally Majestic, Chris Evans of The The Hanna Barbarians, and Luke Wade (to name a few). By the time Patriot (the second band) was setting up, the place was really starting to fill up.

Which brings me to an improvement I was glad to see Lola’s is putting in: Next to the sound booth in the back, they have built a raised platform that will give people in the cheap seats a better view of the stage. It was packed before I got there, but I look forward to putting it to good use in the future.

The band Patriot consists of Jake Paleschic (guitar, vocals), Tyler Brown (guitar), Austin Kroll (bass) and a return of Pete Wierenga (drums). Patriot also has kind of a roots/Americana sound to it, but the guitar parts were more animated and intricate than I expected. Vocals were solid and I found myself really starting to like these guys right up to the point where they dropped into a couple of slow, annoying country-ish songs. Maybe it was just one, it was hard to tell, but it killed the energy they had built up to that point. The rest of their set was quite enjoyable, and I particularly liked Brown’s guitar work.

Overall it was a successful hunt for new acts to keep an eye on. Both Patriot and Siberian Traps show a lot of promise.

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