Fresh off SXSW, Apex Manor made their DC debut at The Red Palace Monday night. I’ll get to their performance in a minute but first let’s talk about the room. The remodeled space that combines the upstairs of both Red and The Black and Palace of Wonders has been flying under the radar since it was repurposed, but one glance a their upcoming schedule and it’s clear that they gunning to attract business from some of the larger clubs (Black Cat, 9:30 Club) in the area, and after finally catching a show in this room, it’s clear that they are going to succeed in that.
This is a room where memories are going to be made for both the audience and the bands. It’s small, dark and simple, with an easily accessible bar in the back corner. The sound, as far as I could tell, was impeccable and overall it feels like a tiny club should. This room is built for rock, and so it was that Apex Manor was obliged to bring it.
Playing most, if not all of their album The Year of Magical Drinking, show itself was very much like what I said about the album (read that review here). Delivering an amped up, note perfect set that recalled everything from the Replacements to Matthew Sweet…including a blistering version of Harry Nilsson's “Jump Into The Fire” to close the show… Apex Manor created a real connection to the audience Monday night. Feeding off of the uniqueness of the room, the band evolved their show into something that was less of a concert than it was a bunch of guys, who happen to have written a bunch of great songs, playing in your living room.
If there is anything to be critical of it’s that the show was just too damn short, but given that they only have one albums worth of material under their belt, it’s understandable. That minor gripe aside, this is a great band touring around a great collection of songs right now that shouldn’t be missed.
Check out the videos below for a glimpse at how the night went.