What's a Friday night without a good old fashioned rock concert? Granted, rocking knows not a weekend from a weekday and I've seen my fair share of memorable Tuesday night shows but there's something about Friday that awakens my inner dancing queen, whether or not Abba is included in my "Fuck yeah, weekend!" playlist. So when I found out local fellas Koala Fires would be less than a mile away from Casa De Amber, playing with Charlie Hustle for their video premier party, it wasn't a question of if I would be there but rather a question of how soon 9 p.m. would come.
Having procured myself a copy of Koala Fire's forthcoming debut, I was already familiar with their music and everyone knows a concert is all the better when you can sing along. Delivering a more raw sound than their LP, Koala Fires busted through a solid set at downtown Cincinnati's Mainstay Rock Bar that included some of my personal favorites off of The Beeping in Our Hearts, which comes out in just a couple short months. The guys laid back appearance and darkly catchy indie rock make the band seem like guys I'd love to hang out with. The fact that they're my new neighbors just make them all the cooler to me, giving me a sense of pride and community when they got on stage.
I'm adding Koala Fires to the growing list of Cincinnati acts I desperately want to see succeed and I'm sure that after the band's January cd release, they'll start making waves (Daytrotter session, anyone?) because despite the fact that part of the reason I may love them is because I've transplanted myself to their city doesn't by any means mean that their appeal is strictly local. Ideally, Koala Fires would fit beautifully on a bill with the significantly sunnier but just as wonderful Miniature Tigers (toss some Young Coyotes or Dear and the Headlights on the prospective tour and you've got yourself an all-animal themed zoo tour!), bringing their sound to a more national audience, giving them some of the attention they deserve.
Koala Fires - All The World's Been Staged
I hadn't a clue who headliners Charlie Hustle was until their video, "Toiler", began to play and while my memories of the band's sound may be slightly skewed from Mainstay's cheap tallboys of PBR and excessively strong mixed drinks, I stand by my slightly fuzzy surmised opinion that Charlie Hustle is awesome.
Lead singer Tyler Kottman (who may or may not bear a striking resemblance to fun. front man Nate Ruess) lead the band through a rambunctious set before taking a break, only to return to the stage and perform a set of covers including some Racounteurs ("Steady As She Goes"), Strokes ("Hard To Explain") and the always fantastic "Hang Me Up To Dry" by the Cold War Kids. Like I said, concerts are always b etter when you can sing along to the songs and hearing seminal hipster favorites like that one MGMT song everyone knows just endeared Charlie Hustle to me all the more. Exactly how much did I like Charlie Hustle? Well, I'm actually glad to not be going home for Thanksgiving so I can hit up the band's set at Bootsy's on the 25th from 9 'till 11. Which, naturally, means The Hot Half Life's presence will be graced by the presence of these Charlie Hustle fellows a lot more in the future.