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Limbeck @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Feb. 22, 2008

Feb. 27, 2008
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Friday, February 22, was a good night for Milwaukee music – both music in Milwaukee and Milwaukee music.There is a welcoming trend of support for local bands happening right now and everyone is benefiting from it, especially out of town headliners.When the houselights went out (early) at Turner Hall for a 7 p.m., four-band bill, there was already an impressive couple hundred people, roughly half of the total draw by the end of the (also early) night, which reached well into the mid 400s.

Self-described as “Milwaunkee Tonk,” The Candliers took the stage shortly after 7 p.m. and played a quick set of jovial tributes to a time before synthesizers, drum machines and even overdriven guitars.Successfully recreating this sound on album is somewhat of a tedious task, but it can be accomplished.Replication in a live setting is nearly impossible, but The Candliers pulled it off to an impressive degree – a true testament to musicians knowing exactly what they want.All in all, the seven-member band proved to the kids that maybe it is time to exchange that 180 gram vinyl collection and record player for a phonographic cylinder.

But, wait, hipster children!Giving up on that good old vinyl sound won’t be that easy after listening to the new Juniper Tar record, To the Trees, from which the band played many cuts off of during their portion of the night.Beautiful four-part harmonies soothed and massaged the audience, while the occasional well executed dynamic stab kept them on their toes for the entire 40-minute set of Americana- and folk-hinted rock.As the Juniper Tar set came to a close through a din of feedback, white noise and audience cheers and screams, I had a feeling that the opening half of the night was probably better then the closing half on the horizon.

John Ralston is a very nice guy.His band-mates are also great lads that support his non-threatening, teenage girl-friendly pop/rock.With that said, not much in the music department was augmented from the earlier performances.Ralston, who has been on the industry’s radar for quite some time now, is finally making a little more headway with his polished and clean-cut songs, and will probably be on millions of girls’ iPods in the near future.Whatever John Ralston’s performance was lacking in luster that night was easily made up by the great body and gratuitous shine of his hair, which, in the words of one young girl who stood in front of me, was “amazing.”

Finally, Limbeck took the stage, and looked very surprised at the amount of people who came to the show (thanks to Candliers and Juniper Tar) and rolled through a slightly predictable rock n’ roll set, opening with the first three songs off their first record, Hi, Everything’s Great.Giving the audience a nice comprehensive view of their OrangeCounty, sun-drenched Americana rock, Limbeck summoned more of a warmer feeling of summer and outdoor beer swilling then the cold winter reality that lurked outside of the ballroom.After a satisfying set, Limbeck closed the night with a usual crowd pleaser and farewell ballad, “People Don’t Change.”

And with that, a peaceful sea of folk kids, thirty-something’s, skinny jeans, pearl snaps and a combined 400 lbs. worth of facial hair left Turner Hall dreading the same impending fate—battling the parking and street traffic with the jackass hockey fans from across the street.


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