The Deal: Two of Q.C.'s best female vocalists (and their bands) show their talent.
The Good: Having seen Erika Blatnik as a solo artist in an acoustic format, I wasn't sure what to expect when she was paired with a full band – The Lights, Fluorescent. Her quick-hit singing style is intact, the band is tight and the emotions are up-front, hitting a peak with "Blue Jay." Robby Hartis adds some vocals that harmonize well with Blatnik's and the band has a more intricate sound than might be expected – usually layering notes instead of chords. While Blatnik's vocals look like they come up through her toes with intensity, Dobbins' has a sweeter style and smoky tone that fits the bluesy side of her music. Both sing about love, with Dobbins' songwriting coming straight from the heart. She and her band, The Red Velvet Manx, offered up a short acoustic set in the middle of their mostly rock songs and it all worked. While TL,F lean toward the indie, the Manx goes for a more straight-forward approach with Dobbins' vocals being the main feature. Blatnik joined her on stage for "Elixir" and the contrasting vocals worked nicely together. The show was done as a CD release party for Dobbins' latest EP, Power of One.
The Bad: Not much. Blatnik took time out at the end of TL,F's set to sing a sweet song to her boyfriend. A loving gesture that wasn't bad in any way and would fit in a romantic indie movie. I just kinda felt like the third wheel at Valentine's Day dinner.
The Verdict: Dobbins' new EP is a tasty appetizer before her upcoming full-length release. The Lights, Flurorescent keep the buzz building toward their debut CD being released later this month. Keep an eye out for both.