Those who braved the cold Tuesday evening into the wee hours of Wednesday were treated to another rocking show at 123 Pleasant Street. The lineup consisted of three bands: The Furr, Cellular Chaos and Haggard Wulf.
The Furr was the first band to take the stage. This Morgantown-based band has a sound best described as a healthy mixture of garage rock and psychedelic rock. The lead singer, Eli Pollard, said The Talking Heads, Guided by Voices and Jimi Hendrix are inspirations for the band.
The use of sound effects often synced with the singer’s voice and created some intense effects on the vocals. The words and the sounds would often overlap, creating strange alternate pitches and vocal sounds that worked quite well with the music. Many of the group’s songs sounded like they came straight from ‘80s sci-fi cartoons and movies.
The band’s performance also featured a projector screen displaying various moving images. Landscape images with color filters, closeups of everyday items like playing cards and much more moved around behind the band as they continued their set. This added to the band’s overall garage feel.
It is very clear that a lot of thought goes into their live shows.
"It’s fun and freeing, and you can share it," Pollard said. "It’s a good outlet."
The second band to perform was Cellular Chaos. This band was all about creating a high-energy live performance. The guitar and drums were heavy, and the musicians physically threw themselves into the songs, creating a mix between metal and performance art. The singer constantly twists around and dances on stage, even coming down into the crowd occasionally, providing the effect that she is being pushed and pulled by the music. The guitarist displayed some of this movement, too.
On their Facebook page, Cellular Chaos calls themselves "loud, dissonant." And this proved to be quite true.
At first the band seems to just be making noise, but upon closer inspection, it is actually revealed to be carefully thought-out and orchestrated. The dissonant noise is actually just the type of energy they are projecting through their music. It’s fast, emotional and messy but in a great way.
The final band of the evening was Haggard Wulf. This Morgantown group consists of only two members and has been playing for more than four years. Still, they have an enormous sound.
Haggard Wulf is best described as a blues-punk band. Their musical inspirations include a lot of metal and classic rock, with interests ranging from Slayer to Johnny Cash and Black Sabbath to The Who and The Rolling Stones. This wide range of influences is evident in their music, as Haggard Wulf is definitely rock and bluesy, but there are also other genres mixed in that make them a band quite difficult to categorize.
You can tell they enjoy what they do, as well. The group’s electric energy projected into the audience as well. Their stage banter is genuine, casual and funny, and you feel like you are already close friends with these guys as soon as they begin to play.
As always, 123 Pleasant Street put on an excellent and exciting show. Despite the cold trek downtown, the show was worth it. This evening particularly showcased how varied and talented Morgantown’s musicians are.