Show Review: Whaleboat & The Electric Sons at O-House – Savannah, Ga
In the city of Savannah, Mid-April means much more than just a “holiday” created from the Waldos’ secret code. To music lovers, it is when SCAD Radio puts on the Record Fair along with a live music performance. This year, they booked Whaleboat and Electric Sons at the Hive, but due to poor weather, it was moved to the O-house ballroom.
I walked in and saw a conference room. A SCAD Radio staff member took the stage with a British accent. He welcomed the small crowd and introduced the Savannah-based band, Whaleboat.
With Brent Collins on guitar and vocals, Jeremiah Stuard on bass, and Donald Moats on drums, dreamy, wandering guitar tones started the song, “Pass You By”. Moats crashed in with loud cymbals, powerful toms, and a thunderous sound that launched the song forward. It hurt my ears, but it caught my interest. The bass thumped, the drums were intense, and Collins’ voice and shoe-gaze guitar style brought everything together, creating a full and layered sound that filled the small ballroom.
Whaleboat blended each member’s different styles to create songs that demanded a larger audience and a better venue, but at least more attention from the few people that were present. Even if the storm kept students from coming out, the show was on the first floor of upperclassmen dorms, so some trickled in throughout the performance, but not nearly enough. Albeit, the band was passionate through every second they were on stage
Following Whaleboat, Ben Richards, Andrew Miller, and Jason Monseur of The Electric Sons—based in Atlanta—set up for the second and final show of the event. It was the band’s first show in Savannah and SCAD alumni, Miller and Richards, said it was great to be back in the city again.
The room went dark and sound swirled from Richards’ keyboard. Monseur broke through with a beat and stage lights behind them flashed along. Miller’s voice added a different layer to the electronic keyboard, synthesizer effects, and the precise and simple drumming that grounded the songs.
They had great energy and incorporated different techniques to keep the music fresh and fun. In between songs, Miller—who lived in room 216 of O-house—said, “My dream has come true.” He also noted that it was the hottest he’s felt in a long time and that, “The weather is trying to kill you here.” He then introduced the song “Run” and said, “Give me the beat, Jay.”
Richards said of their music, “It’s kind of like being in a sandstorm. You reach out and turn stuff and sometimes you’ll find that one cool riff or tone or idea. Then you brush off the song as you go along and try to discover. You have the belief that the song is already there before you find it, which I do. You’re kind of finding songs that are already written.”
The Electric Sons created intricate layered songs and with the inclusion of a drummer the songs really came to life. “It’s fun to get in front of new people” Miller commented. When he wasn’t singing, he switched between guitar and keyboard. The trio entranced the audience with a unique light show, dreamy electronic melodies, and energy from their passion for their music. As they tried out new material, they asked the small audience in the dark room to not judge the songs too heavily as they were still working through parts. The request was unnecessary.
The Electric Sons will be opening up the Party in the Park in Atlanta in mid-May, alongside Grouplove, Ellie Goulding, Passion Pit, and Yeasayer.
Whaleboat started the night off right with a booming sound and The Electric Sons closed it with a colorful and well-executed set. The SCAD Radio event sadly had a very small attendance, but the bands played excellent shows to a group of lucky students.
The music scene in Savannah grows every day, but it needs support. It needs an audience and for one of the few shows that allowed all ages, I expected a much bigger turnout. Hopefully, next time, SCAD students will get more involved when a local band plays in their dorm. – Brandon Dale