Live review: Radio Lola, Evening Muse (1/23/2015)



New Car Caviar, Radio Lola, Taylor Centers
Evening Muse
Jan. 23, 2015

Radio Lola
  • Radio Lola

The strong vocals of Taylor Centers are a tough act to follow, but Radio Lola singer Danielle Engle may have been the best one for the job. Engle's experience shone through as she took the stage with her band and belted out a partially a capella version of "You Really Got a Hold On Me."

From there, the Charlotte quartet cruised into autopilot, showcasing its wares of rock-infused soul bolstered by the strength of Engle's vocals and the harnessed amplitude of Chris Hendrickson's guitar fury. The band's sound is filled out by drummer Sean Nowak and bassist Kevin Snyder.

Radio Lola
  • Radio Lola

Radio Lola
  • Radio Lola

Engle's previous band, The Between, was a rock-focused project that failed to spotlight's Engle's diverse ability — from slow-rolling soulful songs to hair-whipping rockers that get the crowd moving. With Radio Lola, Engle's power and attitude are clearly the driving force in a band that grows more and more cohesive with each performance.

Hendrickson was previously the guitarist for the Charlotte alt-rock band Red All Over. Having worked in that band with another strong frontwoman in Eliza Grey, he knows the right balance of pushing singers to the front and moving songs forward through songwriting.

Radio Lola rolled through roughly 10 songs Friday night and the appreciative crowd at the Muse would have welcomed 10 more. The band was clearly the savory part of a three-act musical sandwich on this night.

Taylor Centers
  • Taylor Centers

Centers, who opened the night, has strong vocals of her own, but has yet to find the best path for her music. Her brief set bounced between rock, country and pop — and while all three were done well, I couldn't help but want to have her focus her efforts in one direction. It's the country tune that seemed to suit her style the best and, according to her website, where she plans to focus her efforts moving forward. Now in her late teens, Centers has a bright future ahead of her.

Closing out the night was Pink Floyd tribute band New Car Caviar. Saying they performed "jamgrass," the band played its own Americana-infused versions of Floyd tunes.

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