(Jamie Yanda and Myles Coyne perform as Arto)
Another weeknight in the Gates of Heaven Synagogue featuring a variety of Wisconsin music commenced Tuesday, July 9th around 7pm with Castles, aka Cassidy David-Weber of Arto. Using a Gameboy program to loop beats, an electric guitar, and vocals, Cassidy created a full-bodied sound. While this was one of Cassidy’s first shows as a solo artist, his set definitely showed promise once he has more practice flowing from one song to the next.
Next on the menu was Madison’s The Weather Duo, Pat Reinholz and Ben Willis with Anna Weisling mastering the visual effects. Having never seen the Duo preform, I didn’t know what to expect from these two classically-trained musicians. I was blown away. I immediately felt the connection between the band’s name and their music as they incorporated the sound of birds chirping, among other pre-recorded sounds, into their set to convey a feeling– much like the changing of seasons. The entire set was one long story told through the drastic dynamic changes and visual effects. I can’t even begin to discuss the skill level these guys demonstrated with their instruments– but I can say that usually, when I go to an “experimental/indie” show, I usually don’t expect to leave feeling like I was watching from a high-price seat in a symphony hall.
The contrast between sets couldn’t have been larger between sets as Milwaukee’s Arto took the stage as the third band to preform. Going from intense experimental orchestral to intense rock/punk, the boys took the altar for the next set. Arto combined the loud, emotional and at-times screamed lyrical stylings of Jamie Yanda with the rock-n-roll stage presence of Myles Coyne and crashing drums of Cassidy. While their set was best-enjoyed from a safe distance and possibly with some ear plugs, it was cool to see all three of these guys in their main project, having seen each of their solo projects throughout the summer.
Lastly, Eau Claire’s Wintertime Carousel brought some good old indie rock to the Synagogue. Having enjoyed their album (and its awesome screen-printed casing), I was impressed with how the album translated live. Though this band is somewhat split between the west coast and Wisconsin, the boys turned out quite a show with rock solos and overall good vibes to end a long night of musical appreciation at the ‘gogue.