Yesterday at NX35: Sleep Whale at Andy's

Band: Sleep Whale
Venue: Andy's Bar & Grill
Time: 12:30 a.m.

Where Ola Podrida, who had just played on the same stage, had never performed in front of a Denton crowd before, Sleep Whale has called the college town, along with its clubs and bars, home for many a year.

That favored-son status showed early as brothers, Paul and Joel North, along with the rest of the crew thanked the attendees for not going to the HEALTH show and then kicked into their psychedelic, freak-folk jams in front of engaged fans who seemed to have decided to start paying attention after chatting through much of Ola Podrida's preceding set.

"Green Echo," with its cello, bashing cymbals and anthemic guitar was every bit as sweeping and epic as its studio counterpart, if not more so. With two guitars, a drum kit, a cello, a violin, some synth and an extra snare drum--complete with cymbals and bells--Sleep Whale showcased its ability to engage the crowd in various ways. At one point, multi-instrumentalist Bruce Blay was seen tweaking the knobs, banging the snare and crashing his cymbal simultaneously.

As would be expected, the Western Vinyl faves displayed their fondness and talent for ambient rock. While much of the show featured tracks that displayed urgency and prominent rhythms, a little over halfway through its set, however, the meandering of the monotony turned more into Ambien instead of ambient.

Don't worry: A few atmospheric, mellow vibes never hurt anyone--especially when the "anyone" in question is one of the host city's most popular, native acts.

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