Thursday evening, I took a trip up to a different music venue to go see the start of the Emblems 10th Year Anniversary Tour featuring headliner, Matt Pond PA and The Lighthouse and The Whaler.
The Grog Shop is a really cool looking place tucked away along a row of shops like Chipotle and an old movie theater I believe. When you walk in, there’s exposed brick along a couple of sides, nook-like seating area on one side, little tables that are attached to the supporting poles to hold your drinks, and art everywhere.
The bathroom is even a work of art, covered in tons of graffiti and stickers. It was a blend of names, drawing, quotes, thoughts on life, etc. It has its own beauty.
Tom Evanchuck and The Old Money were the opening act. They’re a local Americana band with blues and country influences. The lead singer, Tom Evanchuck, has a nice voice with a twang that you can hear above his band mates. I had to dig a little to find out what the band’s name was because they never mentioned it. I also thought it was interesting that Evanchuck actually stood off to the side instead of the center like most leads.
They had a bit of instrument trouble, I believe. Evanchuck played the majority of the time while the other two lent their voices. They only played with him during a couple of the songs. If you’re into country/folk, then I suggest giving them a listen. You may really dig them.
The Lighthouse and The Whaler were the main reason for coming to the Grog Shop. They’re a Cleveland-local band that is made up of lead vocalist, Michael LoPresti, percussionist, Matthew LoPresti, bassist, Ryan Walker, and violinist, guitarist, and mandolin-player, Mark Poro. They span across multiple genres but are mostly known for indie-folk-pop. Their songs are the type that you can get up and dance to. I love the use of a wide variety of instruments like the violin and triangle to give a different sound. Violins are just awesome.
The Lighthouse and The Whaler have played at venues such as SXSW, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and the House of Blues. I’ve been a fan of their music for a while although I’ve never seen them live. “Venice” and “Pioneers” have to be my favorite songs that they played that night. They also threw in a few new ones which was awesome.
One of the great things about this band is how versatile many of the members are. In between songs, some switched off on instruments. I thought that was really cool that they’re able to continue learning and growing as musicians.
Finally, the headliner, Matt Pond PA, hit the stage. He’s an indie/pop artist who has a pretty impressive resume, including the title song for a motion picture soundtrack and a Starbucks commercial. I’ve heard a few of his songs and I think he’s okay. His songs are catchy and you find yourself rocking along. I think if I listened to him more, a few of his songs would get onto one of my playlists. Right now, “Love to Get Used” is the one I listen to most often.
It was actually incredibly hard for me to get a decent shot although I was directly in front of him. It was a little frustrating. Other than that, it was a pretty decent night. I’ll probably be going back to the Grog Shop again soon.
I hope you guys liked the photos. Thanks for reading.