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Baseboard Heaters rock a small crowd

Group makes best of situation with a delightful, intimate performance

Baseboard Heaters rocked all 13 people in attendance at the Golden West Saloon concert Monday night.

On its CD release tour with the band Mountain Con from Seattle, and on its way from South By Southwest, Baseboard Heaters knew within minutes of walking into the Golden West that it had not been booked at one of Albuquerque’s trendiest venues.

“This isn’t really the most happening spot in Albuquerque, is it?” asked bassist Matt Souther.

But as many nights go, after several drinks, chats with the band and a second wind at about 10 p.m., the night became what to expect with midweek shows — a delightfully intimate experience listening to new sounds and meeting new people.

Baseboard Heaters is a rock band from Portland, Ore. Yes, rock is about the best way to explain what this band plays. Formed in 1998, the band started dabbling in alternative-country but guitarist Matt Brown, drummer Derek Brown, lead singer Rob Stroup and Souther found they “liked to rock.”

The band’s second album release, Lost All Faith, is a straight-ahead rock record with tunes ranging from the subtly soft “Truth” to the hard-hitting “Over Before it Started.” I hate the term “ballad,” but that is the best way to explain songs like “Savior” and “Goodbye Rain.” The group’s sound has been compared to The Who, Tom Petty and Neil Young.

Monday’s show was a treat for listeners. Not only was it free, but it came with awesome opening set by Mountain Con and extra witty side comments from band members, which made the night complete.

Mountain Con did an admiral job opening in the midst of a lunatic roadie’s constant yelling for Hanson tunes. Once the band relaxed, it played some real smooth tunes, mildly crazy covers and requested songs. At one point, Souther, Brown and Stroup jumped on stage and performed like dancing puppets for the band. Though no Hanson covers were played, Mountain Con did deliver a Johnny Cash cover, among many other good things.

So, for everyone that did not attend Monday’s show, I would recommend taking in any free, non-Albuquerque band concert offered in Albuquerque. So far, I have been delightfully entertained and only disappointed a few times, but out no extra money.

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