Live Music Review //
Moving Targets / George Hakkila / Malcolm Tent
/ Tim Holehouse / electric dawn

October 15th, 2022
Willimantic Records, Willimantic CT

Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

After visiting Willimantic Records the week prior, I had seen something about this show on their IG story and it started as knowing that Tim Holehouse would be coming here from the UK.  That was enough to make me want to go, but then as the show got closer there was a flyer and I fond out more about it, which meant knowing that the quite legendary Moving Targets would be headlining and Malcolm Tent would also be performing.   That just made it feel like with every new thing I found out about the show it just became better and better.

Somehow, in the middle of October it felt like it was near 70 outside and a lot of that was due to the bright sunshine.  Last weekend we were in the alley and this weekend we were in the parking lot so there was more room and a mural for a backdrop.  It put us right out in direct sunlight too.  I had my hoodie on and thought about bringing another layer, but by the time the second artist went on I was down to my t-shirt and jeans, somewhat wishing I had worn shorts.  

The first artist to play this afternoon was electric dawn.  At one point during the set she said this was the first time she had performed live since the pandemic and the weekend before was my first time going out to live music prior to the pandemic, so I was thinking about how if this was my first show back it would've been for both of us but I missed it by one weekend.   The music of electric dawn is just this guitar that fills the entire space you're in, like a flood, and there are vocals as well.  

Growing up, I always was to listen to traditional music and so you'd always think of music as being "guitar + bass + drums + vocals" when you'd have a rock band.   So I'm always impressed when I hear musicians who are able to use less instruments and really just be solo in that "guitar + voice" way and create a sound which in a lot of ways can be bigger than that traditional band sound.  Though it felt like the set was cut short, I do hope that the next time electric dawn plays somewhere live we are able to experience it as well.

Tim Holehouse was up second and he came through with this guitar and his voice only.  Toward the end of his set he actually did a song that was just his voice, which he helped the crowd sing along with.   To me, Tim Holehouse is one of those once in a generation types of voices who can just pick up a guitar and sing and it's powerful.   A lot of people (like my dad) will think of Bob Dylan in that way, but I always think of someone like Johnny Cash and Tom Waits.   And it's not to say that the music of Tim Holehouse sounds like them as much as they have a similar presence.

There was one part his set where Tim Holehouse did four songs in a row, each one about a different season.   This was particularly interesting to me at this point in time because here we were in Autumn- in New England no less- and it felt like Summer but sometimes during mid October it could feel like Winter so we really lucked out with the weather.  I'm also one of those big believers in music sounding good when recorded but also bringing out something special when live- so people have a reason to go out and experience a show- and Tim Holehouse is a live show you don't want to miss.

Next up was Malcolm Tent, who used an electric guitar and a looping pedal to recreate the sounds of Devo.   Now, for this set... there would be no "Whip It".   This set consisted of the least popular songs of Devo and not because people didn't know they existed but the type of songs that people knew existed but they hated them.  This was where music went art because as much as you could consider this a musical performance (because it was) there was as much art in the way which it was prepared and delivered.

For me, I know Malcolm Tent from ANTiSEEN (they have a song about the wrestler Sabu called "Sabu") and this was not like that, but it was definitely one of those experiences where you come out of it feeling glad that you got to be a part of it.  Some of these songs- especially "Jimmy"- you would hear Malcolm Tent play and think "No way is that an actual Devo song", but alas, it is!   I don't always look to music to be educated but if it can teach me something then I will gladly let it and this set did just that.

George Hakkila was the co-main event, strumming songs on a guitar somewhere between folk and sea shanties.   Though they weren't really about the sea, per se, they just had that certain grit and bass to them that made me feel like they'd be a song a sailor would sing or someone who was singing about a sailor.  It was a different kind of folk and rock, but I definitely enjoyed it.  I also thought back to Johnny Cash during this set because of how you could go into an old booth and pay a fee to put your song onto a 45 record.  

The music of George Hakkila felt like it was coming from that time and though he mentioned songs he wrote twenty years ago it still isn't that far removed so it feels like he was from a different time- a time travelling musician in some way.   And there are times when modern musicians play old styles of music and you can tell but this just felt so genuine, like he was here through Quantum Leap or something.

The only artist to not be solo on this show, legendary punk rockers Moving Targets, closed out the afternoon with a loud set.   Moving Targets are still every bit of what they were back then as they are now.  One of the things that I really enjoyed about this show is that the first four artists were all solo and this was the only band, but yet each artist still brought their own sound to their set.  Though they sounded different, each artist still had that distinction where you could tell the music was an extension of who they are as a person.

Every artist also did a cover song and Moving Targets closed out the whole show with "Youth of America" by The Wipers.   This song feels as important (if not more so now) as it did all those years ago.   And to think about it as being in our youth back then but not as much now, it's up to a new generation to take back control and I hope that they can do it even if they didn't make it out to this show.  


Popular Posts