at the Vertex
by Karen Granaudo
It was another Friday night at the Vertex, in Hadley. Several unsigned bands from the area were playing, so I was doing my rounds. After smiling, card exchanges, and info swapping, I finally got a chance to check out a band. Well, this is different.
A post hippy-looking band was performing. The polyester/corduroy look was very them. Their music, on the other hand, was not preachy “Make Love, Not War.” They had a smooth, melodic sound that swept you away. Unfortunately, for me at least, the crowd was packed right up to the stage, making it impossible for me to see anything except glimpses of the singer’s forehead. (Nice looking forehead, though.) They left the stage and the crowd applauded wildly. I sat at the bar, disappointed that I wasn’t able to witness those who had made such a performance.
Within minutes, I was dragged from my stool and placed in front of the band’s manager. He was confident about the band and their music, and insisted that I take a tape for the 45 minute ride home. He used phrases like “fully absorb” and “really get a feel for” when describing “the experience” I was about to have. We’ve all heard the hype, we’ve all been let down by “the best band ever!” but I knew this one would be special.
The first 15 minutes of the ride were, admittedly, spent gossiping. Then it began to seep in. The classical/Spanish acoustic guitar blending with the electric. The intensity of the drumming. The singing of the bass. The trembling vocals of pure emotion. It made groovably background music, but, in time, demanded attention. The mixture is hard to describe. It was like a Spanish lullaby with the high speed dubbing button pushed. The tape repeated three times and we were all hooked. For weeks, this tape was in the car’s tape deck and I repeatedly had to refuse people from “borrowing” it. (And thanks to whoever stole the tape case. You didn’t get the tape! Na na.)
There’s only one problem: They’re not from around here and neither is their tape. They’re from South Queens (hence the name), so how often can we see this band, and what happens when someone finally succeeds in stealing my tape? There’s rumor of a CD in the next few month, and judging from the response they got at the Vertex, they’ll be back. Watch for them in your local listings, you won’t want to miss them.