By CELIA ALMEIDA
For local fans of the folk and alternative country scenes in Gainesville, Friday’s show at the Atlantic showcased some of the town’s best.
The Snakehealers kicked off the show, fronted by Devon Stuart, formerly of The Takers. Their songs ranged from silly ruminations like “Catfish” to good ol’ drinkin’ songs, to the fictional account of a junkie veteran forgotten by his country in “Secondhand Blues”. No matter the subject matter though, the band’s driving drumming made for a high energy show and provided the perfect environment for the couple that has had “one too many” to get on the dance floor for additional entertainment.
Visiting Tampa band King of Spain’s low-key set provided a change of pace for fans inside the Atlantic. The two-piece band brought their brand of ambient rock to Gainesville, playing guitar and bass with prerecorded drum beats reverberating from their laptop, accompanied by their skilled harmonies.
The pace kicked up once again with a performance from regional favorite Lauris Vidal, who plugged in and brought a drummer with him for a powerful electric set. Vidal’s voice was supposed to be sore from a three hour set from the previous evening in Orlando, but it showed no signs of weakness during the show. In case he did need any help, Devon Stuart jumped onstage to help him sing at one point. Vidal is always a charismatic and strong performer, but this lineup packed his songs with an extra zeal.
As expected, the night ended with a packed house for hometown favorites Greenland Is Melting (think Mumford and Sons with a zombie fascination). The band with the suitcase bass drum and green upright bass’ latest album is Where We Were, but they also played fan favorites like “No More Sorry Songs” and the rowdy closer “Blood on the Banjo” from their last full length, Our Hearts Are Gold, Our Grass is Blue.
Greenland is Melting has a loyal following who come to the shows and sing along to all the words to their songs. Whether they came late to catch only their set or early to catch some of the supporting acts, it’s a safe bet that all fans went home satisfied, waiting for the next chance to see and support this one-of-a-kind band.