all images by Kayla Hughes/MIMC
After getting the chance to check out their debut EP and do an interview with them, I was chomping at the bits to see the boys in Dynamo Fuzz live and in person. After going 16 months without seeing any concerts live, I’ve been scooping up every show I can and given the opportunity to jump on a show review on short notice or stay home, you better believe I left work and headed straight down to the Spacebar on Friday night.
There was something familiar in the air that just felt right about that night. I’ve attended so many shows down that strip, be it at Ace of Cups, Bossy’s, Dirty Dungarees, or otherwise. The smell of Ray Ray’s Hog Pit on the cold air brought forth wonderful reminiscence, but it wasn’t until I saw the old Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling that I truly felt at home again.
I had the chance to chat with the band before their set, and singer/guitar Harlan Hopkins informed me that they were going to play a few songs they hadn’t recorded yet as well as a few from their debut EP. He told me that he had chosen the set-list specifically because his parents were in town, and he wanted to play songs that he thought they’d enjoy as they rarely had a chance to see him perform.
Drummer Patrick Locy and bassist Ryan Sherrock completed the ensemble and we all chatted for a bit before the trio took the stage. They opened things up with MD, short for My Depression. The title may reflect mental health struggles, but the band was anything but lethargic as they punched through it. The energy on the song was punctuated by a screaming solo by Hopkins.
Next was Not Meant To Be, a song the band announced they had debuted at their last show. Hopkins showed off his range while Locy worked his way around his kit in harmonious rhythm with Sherrock’s nimble bass picking. All 3 members were feeling the groove, and you could tell the crowd around me was nodding and bouncing as the trio jammed on.
Locy bantered back and forth with the crowd as his band-mates swapped out their stringed instruments before Hopkins rumbled into Say It To Me. The band had informed me previously that this was a song they usually closed with due to the toll it takes on Hopkins’ voice, but it felt pretty good mid-set as well. Locy laid into his kit with more ferocity on this song than at any other point during the set.
Up next was another new one, titled Deceit. The group had promised me in our interview that Sherrock’s songwriting influences would be seen in the newer material, and sure enough his tone was sharp and clear as he slowed things down almost to the point of a death march, leading us to our sonic doom. The song also featured an elusive bass solo, with Sherrock taking center stage to the roaring approval of the fans around me.
The group again quipped with the crowd as Hopkins grabbed his acoustic guitar for Lost In Time, another slower number with a more mournful feel to it. The song felt a little out of place compared to the two previous, but it showed a versatility that not many trios can perform with.
The final number for the evening was the fan-favorite Black Water. The band joked that it wasn’t a Doobie Brothers cover, and Locy said they ought to just do that some time just to mess with their fans. The song featured more sandpaper and grit than anything before it, and even at the end of their set the energy level was still high atop the register. Hopkins nailed another ripping solo as the rhythm section kept things in time, and the band exited the stage to a smattering of applause from the small crowd.
The group lamented to me after their set that they didn’t feel like it was their best performance, but I felt like they had put together a fairly solid sextet of jams, and I know my neck was bobbing the entire time. Above all it just felt great to be out rocking again in familiar places. Every show I’ve attended so far has been a testament to the music scene healing itself, and I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for all of us.
- Not Meant To Be
- Say It To Me*
- Lost in Time
- Black Water*
*denotes song off of self-titled debut EP, released August 27th