By Brian Ossip, DC Music Live
One of the things that I love the most about this city is that, on any given night, there are literally hundreds of places you can go to check out good live, local music. This past Saturday I wandered in to the Axum Lounge, just off of U Street, and came across two talented local groups.
The first group getting ready to go on when I walked in was a duo called Sonic Nights, featuring Tom Lohrman on vocals and lead guitar and his brother Arthur on drums. Despite the sparse instrumentation, the two musicians onstage brought great power and vibrancy to their songs.
Playing mostly originals, with a cover of Britney Spears’ “Stronger” thrown in, they entertained the audience with their catchy brand of power-pop. Each tune had a chorus that was easy to sing along with and bob your head to, and the band’s use of dynamics helped bring out the best in each song.
The duo just recently released a great new EP entitled Mirrors, which can be purchased here.
Next up on the night was another local band, The Crème. This quartet rocked the Axum Lounge with their mix of rock and funk, fronted by lead singer Rachel Rollins
and her incredibly powerful, classically trained voice.
The backbone of the band was the rhythm section, led by drummer Bob Miller and bassist Nick Allen. The two were perfectly in sync, creating driving rhythms and beats that pushed the songs forward, and guitarist Nick DePinto laid down licks that added color and liveliness to the songs.
Saturday night was the group’s first show together, but you wouldn’t have known it from their set; they portrayed a calm confidence of a band that has been around much longer than that.
Overall it was a great night in the District, a night that is symbolic of the area and our energetic music scene: no matter where you are or where you go, you’ll never know when you might come across your next favorite local act.