On a chilly Tuesday night in Baltimore Jane and folk at The Free Farm hosted a great night of music from local and touring acts. The Free Farm operates as a food resource center,growing their own and distributing donated foods. I have to admit at first I was confused about the show being at a farm, but once I arrived I realized that this community run food center has a dedicated art space. Complete with a stage and wall murals, The Baltimore Free Farm is doing the community good on multiple levels.
Madi Shapiro / soloist / Baltimore, MD
The first performance was from Madi Shapiro of Dead Whale. Her set started off softly and eased the crowd in for the music ahead. She played multiple instruments throughout the set beginning with an acoustic guitar. Some of the riffs she's was playing were creepy, along with the lyrics it was reminding me of a Tim Burton film. Madi had good vocal control and a unique tone, sort of emo but bluesy and folk. Mid way through she puts down the guitar and picks up an accordion, never seen one played live so thank you for that. She sang songs about loss and regret, ending with an electric acoustic guitar ballad and flexed her whistling skills while she was at it. A very creative woman.
A Stick And A Stone / 3 piece / Philadelphia, PA
Just from the look of this bunch I knew some unique sound was about to be created. A 3 piece with drum, bass and... viola? Not typical but who likes that anyway. The sound of these guys was enormous, and a lot of that has to do with the viola producing extended swooping sections of music. The drums were persistent. Really great control and bold, plus he has one of the fastest, most technical right foot's I've seen live. To me what really took it over the top was the distorted bass and graceful vocals. It was a very loud post punk feel, it sounded ominous, somewhere between dream and nightmare.
The Invasive Species / 4 piece / Philadelphia, PA
The Invasive Species show almost didn't even happen. Illness overcame 2 of the 4 band members causing them to miss a show the previous night in D.C. So they returned home, a night's rest did the trick and they were able to play the show much to everyone's enjoyment. The band was very upbeat and very danceable. The drummer was technical and loud, pounding on toms without resonate heads. The sound has classic rock and punk features, the ripping guitar adds a ska vibe to their songs. There was non stop movement from the crowd or the eccentric frontwoman. Glad they were able to make the stop, they even gifted me a cool cassette/download jewel.
Amanda Glasser / soloist / Baltimore, MD
The closer to the night was singer/songwriter Amanda Glasser of Baltimore. The environment for this show was different than the other. With a dozen or so people left we all gathered around the wood stove and Amanda delivered a performance oozing with intimacy. Everything was on point, from the crackling for the fire to the sight of her breath falling from her mouth as she sung. Did I mention it was cold? Amanda did do a great job of making me forget about that though, she has passion in her voice and it lends itself well to the fuzzy guitar effects she played with. With a robust voice she sang songs about social anxiety and being "over it" that were dreamy and just right for the cozy atmosphere. A delightful end to the night.