Indie-rock lovers of all age amassed in the depths of the Great Hall last Saturday to be entertained thoroughly by the songs of Nashville-based band Sun Seeker, and opener Scova Notia. The Maintenance Shop was a new host to both bands and the reception went over well enough.
This was only opener Scova Notia’s second performance in the bands lifetime, and what made it even more special was that the band is a local Ames outfit. All three members of the band are Iowa State alums, and the percussionist was even a tour guide at one point. The young musicians would have stolen the show too, if their set would have been longer, as they certainly had the audience at their mercy. In terms of appeal and song structure, their poppy, heart-throbbing rock made for some tasteful sing-alongs. And favoring a drum pad over a typical drum set gave a unique vibe to the rhythm section.
It was obvious to see that Scova Notias reputation in Ames is what brought as least half the audience to the Maintenance Shop, although it was only their second live performance the crowd knew the tracks, which may have come as a surprise to the band. The band debuted a new song “Versailles”, and worked in some lyrics from the song “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper well into their established song “E.V.P.”. With a great voice that stands firm even without backing vocals, and the pop gravity the band creates, things are looking up for Scova Notia.
As the bands switched and Sun Seeker took the stage, it was like night and day, what left the stage was upbeat and catchy and what entered now was morose and tortured, intentionally of course.
Taking in the band at once, you wouldn’t even know they were of the same group. They were quite an eye-catching crew, the keyboardist, Rodrigo Avendano, sipped wine out of a glass throughout the set, the front man, Alex Bennick, left the stage often to refill his water from a plastic cup, while the bassist and drummer banged their long-haired heads along with the beat, dressed in denim and silk. They were four personalities bound together only by the music they create together.
Although they performed their songs undeniably well, they were as melancholic as their lyrics on stage, save for the raw expression drummer Ben Parks showed with every hit. Which was nothing uncharacteristic from this band, but following Scotia Nova, they didn’t connect or interact well enough with the audience to ensure a lasting impression. However, Sun Seeker is without a doubt, a talented band. They played all their tracks featured on their debut EP "Biddeford," perfectly with some cool, improvisational clamor filled in between tracks.
“We love to jam out and keep it upbeat,” said bassist Asher Horton after the show. “Filling in the songs and making them longer makes them more interesting live, and more unpredictable because we like to play the songs off the new record in order.”
The last song they performed, which was also the featured track off the album titled “Won’t Keep Me Up at Night,” gave a glimpse into the powerhouse this band could be if they played their other songs with the dynamism and electricity they did with this one. Finally, the members of the band were acknowledging each other and really grooving, and the audience noticed, taking a few steps closer to the stage.
Overall, a great turnout for Sun Seekers' Ames debut.
“This was a better turnout than we expected,” noted Horton. “One of the better crowds we have seen on tour.”