--Note: This piece originally ran February 21, 2019 in Floated Magazine--
>> Last Friday, Floated hosted our Issue 6 release party at the Bug Jar. It was a hell of a night. Three amazing bands laid down some of their best material to celebrate Floated, Rochester, and the scene everywhere. You should’ve been there.
I’m guessing you’re reading this review because you missed the show. That’s a shame. If you hadn’t, you would’ve been treated to People Shaped and their absolutely stellar vocalist Shealyn Rapp. If you haven’t heard of them, keep an eye out. They’ve got an amazing tone, a cohesive formula, and the sheer presence to do big things. You may have missed this show, but you definitely haven’t seen the last of People Shaped.
You did miss some really dope stuff, though. People Shaped even busted out some new, never-before-heard tracks just for the occasion. No big deal, really, just some amazing songs that can’t be found anywhere else. Sure, they’ll probably hit Spotify eventually, but c’mon. You don’t get a second chance to hear the first time something’s played.
If you weren’t at the Bug Jar, you didn’t hear Great Red shred their way through a massively high-energy set. Maybe you’ve even listened to their EP, but somehow those MacBook speakers don’t compare to standing six feet from frontman Zach Kochan and his Jason Momoa stage presence. These guys really knew what a Floated release show is about: having the best damn Friday since the last issue dropped.
Great Red’s been around long enough to be a known quantity in Roc, but somehow they just keep getting better. You probably caught their latest track, Radio Silence, in our video shoot with them the other week. Take that vibe, scale it up to the full band, and pump it through a massive PA. It’s better than that. Feeling the FOMO yet?
What did you have going on that night? Charity auction? High-stakes poker match? The fate of the world resting on your shoulders, and yours alone? Doesn’t matter, none of it holds up to the show Jon Lewis Band puts on. They’ve spent years writing tracks, refining their sound, and braving blizzards to put together some of the greatest setlists in the city. Given the choice between saving the earth and hearing that wailing guitar on Cinnamon Only one more time, I’d honestly have to stop and think.
That time spent working out the kinks in their sound really shows. Despite their banter that they only “Know most of these songs”, Jon Lewis Band has some of the most coherent structure of any live group. They seamlessly pass lead parts between instruments, improvise off each other, and generally function like veteran jazz musicians. There’s something almost psychic about the way they work together -- a musical hive-mind greater than the sum of its already-amazing parts.
“Hey!” you yell, because you’re the kind of person who gets mad at snarky articles on the internet, “I didn’t come here to get lectured. I just wanted to see what the show was like!” Look, I don’t want to be doing this either. I don’t get (much) joy out of being a dick online. But you’re the one who didn’t come through. So, really, this is on you.
All joking aside, you really did miss a spectacular show. People Shaped, Great Red, and Jon Lewis Band all brought some amazing stuff to the stage last Friday. These are some genuine, good people doing outstanding things. They’re bringing something completely new, never before conceived, into this world: the music they’re pouring their hearts out to write. It’s a sight to behold, really. The least you could do is show up. <<