On Saturday May 21, 2011 at 9:45 at the Drunken Unicorn, I began a musical advernture that I will not soon forget. This was a special show celebrating the release of the album Money, by an Atlanta up and coming band called Baby Baby. The headliner was joined by two bands based out of Tennessee, Machines are People Too and Parachute Musical. This show struck me because of the high level of talent by all three bands. In my many years of going to small shows, it has been almost a fact of life that the headliner will be talented and the bands coming before are so-so at best. So when the electro-rock band Machines are People Too got on stage, I was pleasantly surprised.
Machines are People Too, are a 3 piece band featuring Brian Sylvester on vocals, keyboard, and beat machine, Cain Lassiter on the keyboards, and Ivan Garcia on the drums. They are self described as an “Indie Pop Dance” group on their Facebook Page. Their music features a strong danceable beat, with evolving electronicr rythms, and a very capable drummer keeping it all together. The vocalist, Sylvester, is solid and really gets into the show. Throughout all of the set he is dancing around on stage, and at times even off the stage. Machines are People Too are the perfect band to really get a crowd into a show, an all-around great lead off hitter.
Next up to the plate was Parachute Musical out of Nashville, TN. A very talented Indie/Punk Rock quartet featuring Josh Foster on piano and lead vocals, Tim Gilbert on guitar and back-up vocals, Andrew Samples on bass guitar and back-up vocals, and Ben Jacoby on drums. With strong melodic vocals and a harder punk rock instrumentation, these guys remind me of a fresher version of angsty teenage punk bands like Red Jumpsuit Apparatus or Yellow Card. This is a group that really knows how to interact with the crowd, drawing them in between songs with amusing banter and stories. At one point during the show they even tried to convince a girl in the crowd to make-out with their manager, to the delight of the crowd.
Now, the band that everyone at the show really came out to see was the buzz worthy Baby Baby.
Two years ago, two roommates at their apartment’s pool decided to start playing together. These two were the guitarist Fontez Brooks and the drummer Grant Wallace. At this point Brooks had only just picked up a guitar two months earlier. They went back to the apartment to start making “noise” as Wallace described it. Unable to “escape” the duo playing, the third roommate, Colin Boddy, put his own percussion set together and began to join in on the fun. After a couple months, Kyle Dobbs joined in as the bassist, and thus Baby Baby was formed.
Their self-described “fun rock” seems to link the musicality of punk rock and the attitude of Andrew W.K. There music is all about getting by in life with no money and being dumped by girls. These two topics combined creating the first song off their new album Money, “Instead Of Spending My $20 On the Blink 182 Reunion Show I Took You Out On a Date and You Never Returned My Phone Call So Don’t Ever Expect to Eat Free Shrimp Scampi Again Bitch!” The album overall is very catchy and hard not to bang your head to. Their possible downfall is the lyrics, which are only skin-deep, but honestly the energy and passion they put behind the music goes beyond making up for this shortcoming.
Live this band can only be described as “something else”. The energy they put into the album is just a blip on the radar compared to what they put into this album release show. It would really be hard to say if the group, especially Brooks, was in control of themselves the entire time on stage. This didn’t affect their ability to play their instruments, but Fontez did drop some lyrics because of raw energy he put into his performance, not getting back to the mic in time. Also between songs, Fontez Brooks and Colin Boddy had the tendency to ramble in a sometimes successful attempt to amuse most of the crowd. Besides the lengths of these ramblings, the two members had the tendency to trip over the line between being funny and just being vulgar. I do not blame them for that, because I believe they were caught up in the reality of the night. It was the beginning of their first east coast tour and their album release show, and I highly doubt that every show they play is so crass.
At the end of the night, all the pent up energy in the room just exploded, as Baby Baby and members from the other groups performed “Fire”, Baby Baby’s most popular single. By the end of the, members from the other groups had to take over as Fontez Brooks and Colin Boddy literally hung from the rafters of the Drunken Unicorn. The anguish in the production manager’s face was palpable. Not only did Baby Baby lose it, but the craziness spread into the crowd as stage diving and crowd surfing ensued. It was almost impossible not to get caught up in good times.
While the show did have its downfalls, I have to say that I have never had such a good time watching four sweaty shirtless men in short shorts performing on stage. Their music may be about not having a cent to their name, but the future holds a great deal of riches for Baby Baby, and they will soon not have to worry about money anymore.