Dusty Rhodes and the River Band put on an entertaining performance at their show at the Continental Room Thursday. It was difficult to know exactly what I thought of Dusty Rhodes, because there seems to be a big division between the sound of the old songs and the new songs. Even the instruments are different, as the lead singer, Dustin Apodaca, switches from a fancy synthesizer which creates a more experimental indie sound for the new songs and an accordion that creates a folk sound for the older stuff. Since they play both, it's hard to place them in a category.
The environment while they were playing was very all encompassing, it would make anyone feel at home. They ended their set with an epic song that included a beautiful violin solo which made the whole event feel worthwhile.
Francisco The Man started out the evening slow and melodically, with a song that sounded very similar to the Smashing Pumpkins. At first it seemed they were going to be just that, a 90's influenced rock band, but after a couple more songs you could hear a mixture of influences from indie bands of the 2000's such as Beach House or Minus the Bear. In spite of my initial skepticism, I did enjoy the music and the crowd seemed impressed by the end of the set.
Jeramiah Red could be described as DIY arena rock. For a local band, their sound is impeccable. They sound as if they are meant to be playing giant concerts and big festivals. They have an American rock n' roll bluegrass sort of feel to them, with what seems like an occasional metal influence.
The harmonica gives them a more folk sound at times, which creates a good dynamic because within their music, there is something to be liked by everyone. If you love classic rock and want to hear something pleasantly put together as opposed to those loosely thrown together, “whatever equipment I might have in the back of my garage” indie bands, I would strongly suggest going to see Jeramiah Red.