The truth is that I never got into Swervedriver. It's not that I didn't like them, it was just I lacked exposure to them. I had the cassette from labelmates Ride, but I had limited exposure to good music in junior high, depending on word of mouth and whatnot. That said, even if I didn't like Adam Franklin, I was gonna support the first band released on Hi-Speed Soul records, the mothership being M-Theory records. After the fact, I can defintely consider myself a convert. Adam played an in-store, and while he struggled to remember the lyrics to a song he'd been playing all tour long, we were all just mesmerized by his voice, accompanied by his solo electric guitar. He could've made up lyrics and nobody would've cared. For the 40 minutes or so that we played, we were all eyes closed right along with him.
Later at the Casbah, I was disappointed that there wasn't more of a crowd, but such is life sometimes in San Diego. Still, those of us there got a great show from all the bands.
The Focus Group started off the night and while I caught them midset, they gave their thanks to Swervedriver for inspiration and appreciated the crowd that was there specifically for their brand of new-gaze. The highlight was when they had Jason and Demetrius of Goodbye Blue Monday sit in front of the stage, each with a drum in front of them, and played along with the band. I told everyone this was Mitch's band (from No Knife) but I guess he was serious about not playing anymore. Sorry for spreading rumors.
Anyway, Innaway was next up and they were really good. The singer had such a cool voice that it appeared he's a trained vocalist and not just someone faking it or making it up. Unfortunately, they cut their set short because they were missing their keyboardist and I guess he was essential for a couple of their songs. The only complaint I had about the band was that at times the bassist was completely turned around. It's one thing to play off the feedback on an amp, another thing entirely to be crowd shy or whatever. Hopefully with more touring a livelier and more engaging show will evolve.
Adam Franklin finished up the night and the crowd was mixed with people who were there because of the Focus Group, diehard Swervedriver fans, and new Adam fans who like me, trust the judgment of Eric and Heather at M-Theory. The show did not disappoint and Adam didn't struggle with lyrics as he had earlier. It was a polished show and they had the attention of the crowd. I had the chance to talk with a couple of the guys in the band later and the next night and they were all so nice. Than, the drummer, has his own project called ShushShush and his mom lives in SD, so he stuck around a few extra days.
I thought I had my pics on photobucket, but it appears I don't so I'll have to post those later. Also, Eric was recording the show with his camera (I played with the lights trying to help him out, so if I find the YouTube, I'll post it here as well...