By Andy McFerren
It all comes down to this, folks. After a week of great performances night after night, we finally got to witness Velour Live Music Gallery’s Winter 2022 Battle of the Bands Finals. Let’s dive in.
Before we do, we would like to offer our sincerest condolences to Meg Mulvey of The What-Nots. Her father passed away unexpectedly this week. Out of respect for the circumstances, Velour opted not to replace them in the lineup. We wish her and her family all the best during this difficult time.
Although it was determined by factors from earlier in the week, it was a weird experience to have the opening band be the least energetic. However, that didn’t hold back Jordan Moyes from getting the night off to a great start. The crowd welcomed him in immediately, grooving to Moyes’s cherubic voice.
Unfortunately with the way this Battle of the Bands is set up and judged, Jordan Moyes was at an inherent disadvantage when two of the criteria the bands are judged on are stage presence and crowd response. It seems catered to bands who always perform as bands (as opposed to solo sets) with high energy. Plus, it’s hard to play first as more people file in and are being anything but quiet as they meet up with their friends.
Regardless, Jordan is one of the better performers I’ve seen locally and he knows how to put a spell on an audience. His third song demanded everyone’s attention, which is a different—and in my opinion underrated—kind of crowd response. The only noise in the whole place was a stray cough here and there as everyone battles cold season.
Coming into the night knowing the strengths of each band, I knew the vocal battle would be between Moyes and Beeson. The caliber of vocalist Moyes is never ceases to amaze me; how that silky smooth tone draws you in and how genuine his performance feels.
Now this is being nit-picky, but in a stacked lineup everything counts. About halfway through the last song, the bassist got the crowd clapping and it felt a little out of place, a little forced, and maybe even detracted from the song. Despite this, Jordan crescendoed into a fantastic and emotional finale.
Tonight was a night of contrasts. Jordan Moyes started out the night with a heartfelt performance full of raw emotion. In contrast, Poolhouse was a perfectly manicured production.
On Wednesday, Poolhouse took the stage and put on a tight show, but in retrospect, it seemed like they were just going through the motions to get business done—another day at the office. Tonight, they showed up and added some flare, and you could tell they wanted it.
Despite this added energy, I was surprised at the crowd’s hesitancy to give themselves over to it, something I think was in part an aftereffect of Jordan’s calming performance. The crowd finally gave in, however, and the floodgates opened. Unfortunately, it was only for the last two and a half songs of their set. I was impressed as Poolhouse showed a harder, punkier side of themselves in a fast and furious outro of their second to last song. That song then segued into an electric last song which produced some mild to intermediate moshing.
The band’s lighting system combined with Velour’s usual fog machine gave the impression that Poolhouse was here to welcome us into the afterlife. I think regardless of your religious beliefs, or lack thereof, you have to admit that being welcomed by a Velour Battle of the Bands lineup as good as this one wouldn’t be a bad way to go.
Overall, the band showed a lot more life than I had previously seen, and quite honestly, I didn’t know they were capable of.
No Such Animal
If Poolhouse was a perfectly manicured production, No Such Animal was the embodiment of chaotic good. They had the crowd won before they even started their set. The crowd was chanting and responding to every little thing in soundcheck, and they took advantage of that in their first song, getting Velour to sound like they were at the World Cup.
From Wolfmother to Green Day and everything in between, No Such Animal’s set is a real sonic smorgasbord, which is both a strength and a little bit of a weakness in my opinion. While it’s impressive that they can effectively borrow from so many different genres, I am not sure what the band’s identity is without a unified sound.
They weren’t the tightest band of the night, but they were definitely the funnest and controlled the crowd with precision. In my coverage of the local scene, I have only bestowed this title on two other individuals, but lead singer Finn Morrison’s charisma and natural ability to control human behavior would make him a great cult leader. Plus, Finn Morrison is simply a great name for a frontman.
At times during their set, I felt like I was at a carnival as the band brought up a random member of the audience on stage to play the cowbell and again as they bagan a mosh pit. These gimmicks, while fun and something the other bands would never think of, went a tad too long. But they went for it. They swung for the fences. Where there was mild to intermediate moshing during Poolhouse, No Such Animal brought it to a whole new level. For a total of 15 seconds, there was a legitimate mosh pit in Velour. In VELOUR, people.
I’m not even sure No Such Animal was trying to win the night. I think they were just trying to have the most fun. And it was evident.
I wasn’t sure how Beeson would respond to that energy as they finished off this night of stark contrasts. However, she took advantage of it immediately, and the crowd quickly adapted into a more methodical groove, pulsating to Beeson’s soulful pop, with an edge to her songs that had been dormant up until tonight’s performance.
Beeson’s vocal performance was on point as she wowed the audience, prompting several jaw-dropping sequences.
Just when I thought I had seen Beeson’s best live performance to date, they proved that they still had a little more in them, all while still playing with a joyful exuberance that won the crowd over. Her set climaxed with her becoming Moses, parting the crowd like the Red Sea to finish her song, “Haven’t Seen You Since The Summer,” and concluded with the crowd chanting her name.
I honestly think anyone one of these bands could have won, and it wouldn’t have been outrageous. But while each band might have done really well in one or two of the criteria that the judges take into account, Beeson’s was by far the most well rounded, and they took their set to a whole new level. Their win was well deserved.
Beeson is the latest Battle of the Bands winner, adding her name to an already storied list. Make sure to follow Beeson on Instagram and check out her song “syrup” below.
2 replies on “Velour Winter 2022 Battle of the Bands Recap – Finals”
[…] Beeson’s performance in the final night of the Winter 2022 Velour Battle of the Bands was nothing short of breathtaking. Her disarming smile and innocent demeanor on stage almost acted as subterfuge, perfectly concealing the powerhouse vocalist that she is. But when Jane Beeson opened her mouth, our reporter covering that night wrote that she “wowed the audience, prompting several jaw-dropping sequences.” […]
[…] a splash at the most recent Battle of the Bands at Velour Live Music Gallery. Those standouts are Jordan Moyes and Cactus […]