Miyazaki played a phenomenal set Friday night at DC9, in celebration of the release of their debut album Color of Glass.
The band played with both machine-like precision and plenty of heart and soul. Bassist Omari Mayers-Walker and drummer Rob Hart kept the beat in lockstep, providing a solid foundation for the beautiful harmonies of Eduardo Rodela and Marissa Grotte. Rodela and Grotte sang clearly and confidently, their heartfelt vocals a nice counterpoint to their rhythm section’s workman-like timekeeping.
Miyazaki’s set provided their opening acts with a master class in performance. Golden Looks (comprised of Hiding Places and Teenage Aviation members) needed the lesson the most. Their set was amateur at best, as their lead-male singer mumbled in-between songs, which made for awkward stage banter, while his off-key vocals grated against his atonal guitar sound. Even worse, the band started a couple songs only to mess them up and have to start again. At one point during a song, the band gave up halfway through playing and proceeded onward. If they had a saving grace, it would be in the form of their drummer, who didn’t play the drums so much as launch a blitzkrieg on them with every stroke, playing with the precision his bandmates were lacking.
Motion Lines fared much better. Their set was full of compelling contrasts: Patrick Sullivan’s clean, direct baselines along with Carson McCain’s tidy, elementary beats against Christopher McCrea’s sunbursts of distortion-soaked guitar; a light show that pitted shadows against a series of bold, modernist lines of light. McCrae’s vocals were a bit buried in the mix, but the sound and lights were enough to convey meaning and emotion.
The show belonged to Miyazaki, though. That was clear from their solid set, which was both personal and professional.
Photos by: John-Paul Zajackowski