Close to Modern

Hard Rock Café on the Strip, Sept. 9


Keep an ear out for what this band will become. They formed in 2003, as an instrumental project between guitarist Fernando Lara and bassist Danny Rodriguez. The duo added vocalist Miguel Martinez and drummer Howie Howell to their lineup in 2009. Since then, the quartet has been cultivating a raw-yet-precise style akin to Joy Division and The Cure.

CTM’s set at the Hard Rock Café was made up of songs guaranteed to make you fall in goth with them. The whirling guitar, hard-hitting snare and strong bass line lured my body into dancing. The small crowd gazed upon the stage as Martinez serenaded them with unrequited-love songs. CTM saved the best for last with their new song, “Stay.” Lara’s aggressive guitar-playing, Martinez’s howling, Rodriguez’s fierce bass and Howell’s sped-up tempo on “Stay” took the band down a colorful musical path.

Close to Modern will play the Beauty Bar on Sept. 24. Look out for their self-titled EP, which is scheduled to be released in a few months.

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Def Leppard

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By Matt Jacob

Yes, they performed one ’80s hit after another—they even strategically closed the pre-encore set with their iconic anthem “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” And yes, the fist-pumping dudes and hip-swaying chicks who packed the arena ate it up, singing along word-for-word throughout the entire 90-minute, 16-song set just as they did the first time they saw this British quintet a quarter-century ago. For that reason alone, Def Leppard received high marks for its Labor Day weekend performance.