Being new to Gainesville, it thrills me to know that there is a place that local musicians call home, so a big shout-out to the Hardback Cafe. Located right in the middle of downtown, this venue provides an escape from the rest of Gainesville’s party atmosphere; with a cozy bar on the second level and stage on the lower level, the place is full of “artsy” vibes. As summer came to an end, Woolbright hit the road for their sixteen-day east coast tour to honor their new album Busybody Lazybones, and luckily for us the Hardback Cafe was one of their stops.
Gainesville’s very own Bird Eat Bird kicked off the show. The duo played a dynamic set of noisy angst while Frontman Edward Dinardo cocooned himself in a cloth and the flamingo on Julia Bushnell’s drumkit hopped along to the beat. Their song “Giving Tree” exemplifies what I love most about smaller bands: that each instrument really gets its chance to shine, and it was definitely a highlight of the set. As their time came to an end, they played “Yo Mama” which ended up being my favorite song of theirs: it was so damn catchy!
Of the ten tracks on Busybody Lazybones, Woolbright gave us a small taste of five songs; they opened with “Clean“, which is one hell of an opener. It is a very powerful song that does a great job of showcasing Candice Maritato’s very talented vocals. They then slowed down for “19th Street” and “Four Walls” to then pick the energy back up a bit with the bluesy tune of “What’s It Gonna Be.” In between songs, Maritato also took a moment to address addiction and mental illness – both issues that are prevalent not only in the touring community, but also in the local scene. Emphasizing the importance of checking in on one another and give a helping hand, she even offered to stay after the set and try to help anyone in need– whether it be finding a hotline/resources or just listening. With the soft, yet haunting melody of “Air,” the last song on the album, they closed out their intimate and beautiful set. It is so hard to put together words that would do this band justice; their music is so well intertwined with the instrumentals and powerful lyrics, and the band shares such great chemistry that really helps show off their talent. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I may be biased, but Florida has one of the best up and coming music scenes, and Woolbright is just another band proving that right. Their album Busybody Lazybones was released on August 10th via Whelmed Records (check it out here).
If a band steps on stage and their guitarist is repping a “legalize memes” sticker, you better believe that I have high expectations, and Gainesville natives Donkng did not fall short at all when closing out the night. With a hint of garage like rock and underlining tones somewhere between The Smiths and The Stokes, the band’s sound seems to take you on a nostalgic trip– my favorite track from their set was “In Between Lines.”
With the show taking place during the last week of August, the back to school blues were about, however, with great talent at a great venue Woolbright‘s show proved to be both the answer and the cure as they kicked off the school year for many.
Last modified: September 12, 2017