The Fresh & Onlys at the Jackpot

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The Fresh & Onlys played to a small, but enthusiastic, crowd at the Jackpot in Lawrence last night. I don’t know if it was the sheer number of high-visibility shows with which they were competing (Snow Patrol and Noel Gallagher, the Helio Sequence) or the usual post-Halloween party doldrums, but I really expected to see double, if not triple the number of folks there. Still, a damn fine show in support of the band’s new album, Long Slow Dance, which is currently out on Mexican Summer.

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The Fresh & Onlys’ songs grow in concert. While they have some damned fine indie garage rock on record, in person the sound is so much more full and round. It’s a rather warm tone that envelops the room when they play, to the point where you just want to dance and bop and smile.

Fresh & Onlys

Fresh & Onlys


The bar was still decorated from Halloween, yet the decorations were slightly down-at-the-heels from the festivities the night before, and no one was in costume, lending a certain air of sadness to the whole affair. It was almost as if we had all shown up on the wrong night, in the wrong clothes, and simply decided to make the best of it.
Fresh & Onlys

Fresh & Onlys


Swayback

Swayback


The same could not be said for the openers, Swayback. They had three songs of interesting, dynamic garage, with hints of blues, before suddenly transforming into your average Chicago bar band. Chooglin’ riffs, overly emotive vocals — if you’ve seen any movie where there’s some generic band playing blues in the back of a bar, right before the fight breaks out, that’s what Swayback sounds like. Or, alternately, a really shitty Black Keys. Their guitarist was fantastic, and I’m guessing that he took the gig because it would get him more tail than being in a rockabilly band.
Swayback

Swayback


Swayback

Swayback


Swayback

Swayback