Concert Review: Nico Vega

Hard Rock Live, July 12

Overcoming second-rate billing with the less-impressive Crash Kings and a meager crowd, alt-rock jam band Nico Vega sailed through their set with ferocity normally reserved for sold-out arenas. Singer Aja Volkman channeled her inner Janis Joplin, taking vocal interludes and visibly encouraging her bandmates to extend songs. Their song “Beast” received a three-minute extension, which included impromptu dabbles into speed metal and lounge music. This spontaneity bred flaws, but they spun those flaws into highlights. Flying drumsticks and throaty runs were endearing and all part of the band’s fun. What shines through everything, though, was Volkman’s empowering and eclectic lyrical style. Forays into slam poetry and lyrics lined with raw emotion gave Nico Vega’s set a personal touch sometimes lost by other bands. ★★★✩✩

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