Concert Review: The Greeting Committee at The Basement
The Greeting Committee clearly feel right at home in Columbus, and rocked The Basement like it was a hometown show of a band that had been away for too long. Although they hail from Kansas City, thanks to the support from CD102.5 and the fans here in the Capital City, the band declared several times throughout the night that Columbus has felt like their second home. This was the band’s third show in Columbus within the past year, having previously headlined at The Basement last July, and then playing the A&R Music Bar stage during last September’s CD102.5 Fall Fest.
The band started their set with “Naive,” off of 2017’s Meeting People Is Easy EP. Brandon Yangmi (guitar), Austin Fraser (drums), and Pierce Turcotte (bass/saxophone) came out on stage to begin the slow-jam intro to “Naive,” before Addie Sartino (vocals/guitar) joined them on stage to launch into the song. Throughout the night, The Greeting Committee’s setlist was perfectly crafted, rolling through the highs and lows of their music - never letting the band’s nor the audience’s energy ebb for very long before the intensity rocketed back up.
To their great loss, many people around Columbus and much of the country, may not yet be very familiar with The Greeting Committee. The band burst onto airwaves in Kansas City after their self-released single, “Hands Down,” was discovered by KC’s 96.5 The Buzz back in 2015, while most of the band members were still in high school. The band then recorded their debut EP, It’s Not All That Bad, and was signed to Harvest Records, releasing the EP at the end of 2015. Here in Columbus, CD102.5 was one of the first radio stations outside of KC to start playing “Hands Down,” and The Greeting Committee has been on the air here ever since.
Despite having released only two EPs, and a couple of stray singles, so far, The Greeting Committee’s catalogue is very diverse. From the peppy and sentimental jam that is “Hands Down,” to the brooding and dark “I Don’t Mind,” to the intense rocking thrills of “She’s A Gun,” to the deeply personal ballad of “Elise” - there is no one style or gimmick that the band relies on. Rather, they let whatever inspired and moved them at the moment to shine through, while somehow putting together a coherent product with a musicality and maturity well beyond their years.
Addie is absolutely fierce and fearless when she’s on stage, clearly putting every last drop of herself into each note she sings, baring herself in a profound way that makes it seem like she is singing for each person in the crowd individually - sharing her very soul with you. Brandon plays the guitar like it is truly an extension of himself - with an intensity that is so markedly different than his smiling easy-going manner that he shows off-stage, and for brief moments in between songs. Austin is a mad flurry behind his drum kit, continually driving the band forward, never relenting. Pierce is the stoic, steady base on which the others build, never wavering, but then truly letting go when he trades the bass guitar for his saxophone. The Greeting Committee is all of these things perfectly combined into a rock ‘n’ roll performance that belies their relative inexperience and current stature.
On this night in Columbus, the crowd was rewarded with several treats. First, following the bluesy jam “Dancing To Nothing at All,” and the fast-paced rocker “BBC,” the rest of the band left the stage while only Addie remained with an acoustic guitar for a heartfelt performance of “Elise.” Written for her girlfriend, and released as a one-off single in between the two EPs, it’s a song that the band has rarely performed live, but should probably consider more frequently including in their setlist. Second, the band previewed a brand new song, “Chin Up,” which hopefully will appear on the band’s future first full-length release. Third, during “Hands Down” there was an on stage proposal featuring a couple of fans (the answer was “yes”). Finally, after the entire crowd was insanely jumping around and dancing to what was to be the final song of the night, current single “She’s A Gun,” the band came back out to play the emotional “I Don’t Mind.” At the end of the song, the whole crowd joined in singing what is normally Pierce’s part of a call-and-answer, with Addie singing “I don't mind” and the crowd responding “It kind of sounded like you're never coming back,” repeating it four times, until the final time when Addie barely whispers “Don't come back.”
Make no mistake, this band will not be playing venues like The Basement for long - after releasing two fantastic EPs and honing a killer live show, big things are surely just around the corner for this little band from Kansas City.
Columbus band The Cordial Sins opened the show with an excellent stripped down set. Normally a five-piece, the indie rockers played this night with only three, foregoing the drums and bass, which left Liz Fisher (lead vocals, keyboard, violin), Corey Dickerson (guitar/vocals), and Kyle Edwards (acoustic guitar). This configuration really let Fisher’s voice shine through on each song, never having to worry about being overpowered by the rest of the band. Additionally, Fisher played her violin more than she usually does, which added a beautiful folk quality to the band’s music that subtly enhanced the feeling of the songs. You can catch The Cordial Sins frequently around Columbus, next opening for Wolf Alice’s sold-out show on July 6, and then at Rumba Cafe on July 7 with Mary Lynn, Speaking Suns, and Keating. Also stay tuned for a new EP from The Cordial Sins, which will hopefully be out later this year.
Stay tuned for our interview with The Greeting Committee which will be posted soon.
Below, check out the galleries of photos from the performances by The Greeting Committee and The Cordial Sins.
The Greeting Committee:
(More photos of The Greeting Committee can be found on our Flickr page)
The Cordial Sins: