Harlem and Dante vs Zombies @ Spaceland, 2/20/10
When Dante vs. Zombies took the stage, from a purely visual standpoint, it looked as if someone had gone to a hipster party, picked out five random attendants, and said, "You guys are now in a band." There was the bassist in a full on red jumpsuit with a cowboy hat and boots, the guitarists who were in nerdy prep garb, the keyboardist who had a folk vibe about her, the drummer who looked like he just got off his shift at the hospital, and the lead singer who was dressed in a golden nightie and a hat that looked like it may have belonged to Paul Revere. None of which left any clues as to what sort of music they were going to play.
What ended up coming out was this1960s influenced garage rock, which was pretty straightforward, but not very adventurous. They seemed to falter whenever they started going somewhere interesting; like a kid who's learning to drive stick for the first time, they would stall and have to start over. In order to counter this hiccuping effect, their frontman did his best to dance his way into our hearts. What he lacked in vocal ability, he more than made up for in gyrations. Although he would sometimes get completely carried away with the music and end up in a corner or hitting the bassist in the face with his mic. But it turns out that no matter how sparkly your nightie is, it will not distract the audience from your vocal performance. Which was a damn shame because he really gave it his all, but ultimately Dante vs Zombies should take their fine drumming and pretty guitar licks and put them behind someone else.