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Concert Reviews

Admiral Contempt at Tatoheads – 2/17/17

Photo Credit: Jacob Thompson/Music in Motion

The ups and downs of Valentine’s Day were celebrated at Tatoheads Public House with the Post V-Day Bash Friday night.

With Admiral Contempt taking the stage at 11 p.m., we sampled an order of loaded fries and some very nice craft beers as Icky Romantic and Silvermane played their sets. We have to give Tatoheads Public House kudos for excellent food and an excellent selection of beverages.

You may recall we featured Admiral Contempt earlier this month in our “New Music Monday” segment.

Eschewing tradition, Maddie Nicole (vocals/guitar), Jackson Arnold (keyboards) and James Sterling (guitar) filled the space with their own unique sound. Their nine song set was filled with emotion, all while having fun on the stage.

They opened their portion of the show with a smoky, emotive rendition of High and Dry. They then segued into The Flood, channeling Guinevere-era Crosby, Stills & Nash with Maddie’s emotional wail building to a crescendo.

With Hanging Man, they effortlessly transitioned from loud to soft as the song progressed.

At this point, they gathered the assembled crowd in front of the stage for a group selfie, before launching into the crowd-participation song, Staring At The Sun.

Photo Credit: Jacob Thompson/Music in Motion

Photo Credit: Jacob Thompson/Music in Motion

The highlight of their set, at least for this author, was the prog-rock infused Gentle Bird. Jackson’s exquisite mastery of the keyboards was reminiscent of Keith Emerson and the heyday of 1970’s era Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Slowing their set down, Maddie joined Jackson on the keyboards, with James on acoustic guitar, for the ballad Sex With My Ex. Was this a first-person account of regret? Maddie’s vocals would make you think the answer to that question would be a resounding “yes.”

Carousel embodied an almost-flamenco sound flying from James’ fingertips on the guitar. Sharing the microphone, James and Maddie wove the tale of the Fortune Teller.

They closed their portion of the show with Set My Table, bringing the full-weight of their emotion to the song.

With their debut EP tentatively scheduled to be released in March, 2017, Admiral Contempt has a sound that is at once very complex, and yet simple in its execution.

Our recommendation is to make plans to catch this trio at one of their live shows quickly. We doubt that you’ll be disappointed.

All in all, it was a wonderful show, filled with extraordinary music.


  1. High and Dry
  2. The Flood
  3. Hanging Man
  4. Staring At The Sun
  5. Gentle Bird
  6. Sex With My Ex
  7. Carousel
  8. Fortune Teller
  9. Set My Table


Photo Credit: Jacob Thompson/Music in Motion

Photo Credit: Jacob Thompson/Music in Motion


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