Electric Daisy Carnival didn’t dampen a large turnout for a Radiohead tribute night featuring a half-dozen local bands, most of which I encountered for the first time.
Minor Suns properly kicked off the event and brought out the obscure, post-rock aspects of Thom Yorke & Co. with a storm-battered take on “You” (the first track off Radiohead’s first album, Pablo Honey) and a haunting twin Telecaster guitar-toughened adaptation of “Nude,” guitarist Jared Luke matching the song’s dark atmosphere with effects pedals. Frontman Ryan McIlvaine cooed the lyrics (You’ll go to hell/for what your dirty mind is thinking) perfectly, then launched his band into the melancholy stomp of OK Computer’s “Climbing Up the Walls,” bassist Jesse Harvel and drummer Stephen Ferradino locking into the song’s menacing groove. It was the evening’s high point, but other acts did well, too.
Sax-enhanced Just Us offered a crushing “Karma Police,” Same Sex Mary surgically struck with a carefully honed “Creep” and Videograft artfully reimagined prog-pastoral anthem “Pyramid Song.” Before I knew it, it was 2:30 a.m. and I was half-drunk, literally wiping my eyes with the sleeves of my Doctor Doom T-shirt as Aly Prudence & Friends broke my heart with a spot-on “High & Dry.”
Entertainment director Ryan Pardey intimated that he’s likely on the way out as the Royal House seems to have big changes in store for Friday and Saturday nights. (Please, God, not house music.) A shame, because the Royal has only just finally achieved what can be called a genuine music “scene.” I hope the bar continues to make room—and serve as a room—for local and national acts. Or else I’ll cry again. ★★★★☆