Several dozen showgoers flooded into local Nathaniel Salfi’s suburban backyard and basement (the latter dubbed the Playroom, a Bethesda, MD DIY venue that’s hosted its fair share of shows in the past couple years) to attend Melted Magazine’s first print issue release show. 

  Marigolds, a Richmond three piece and self-described “all girl teenage rock band” played a stripped down set of reverb-y, power chord-based tunes to start the night. 

   Then Shirt/Pants, a D.C. four piece, took the stage and immediately began a longer set of catchy, dancy, sing-along songs that started off softer and more mellow (along the lines of Wild Nothing/Beach Fossils), but eventually broke off into a tangent of straight up rock-n-roll that had the majority of attendees happily moshing about in the very cramped space and having an overall fantastic time.

    The show continued with definitely one of the most unique, off-kilter performances I’d yet to witness by Dove Lady. An atmosphere of utter confusion somehow coupled with strange, focused fascination was created when guitarist Andrew Thawley and drummer Jeremy Ray launched themselves into a set of unusually dynamic songs, at first beginning with very quiet, jazzy verses that then pummeled themselves into chaotic, distorted, and dissonant choruses. In the ample space between these songs, Thawley’s feet danced along his numerous effects pedals, releasing wave after wave of distressing guitar noise as he and Ray rhythmically mumbled on about random topics. At one point the pair suddenly stopped and jumped into a disjointed, comedic argument about (quite frankly) nothing at all. Their set was interestingly captivating, tip-toeing the line between musicality and performance art.

   Finally, as the clock neared ten-thirty and Nathaniel’s backyard remained crowded by chatting teens and a couple twenty-somethings, Nick Bairatchnyi and Jackson Mansfield of the Philly two-piece, The Obsessives, retrieved a couple pieces of essential gear from their car and set up for their final set before going separate ways at two different colleges. Before mentioning anything else, a trend I’ve noticed with Obsessives sets is that they’ve become exponentially louder over time, and last night remained true to this, as Nick’s pair of immense head and cabs produced a powerful amount of sound. I really felt bad for the neighbors, even with the venue’s soundproofing doors having been shut. But nonetheless, the duo began with their legendary emotastic singalong, Daisy, and after going through their catalogue of open-tuned pieces (some more straightforward and chuggy, others fingerpicked and more dynamic) they concluded with an intimate performance of the second song on their debut record (Heck No, Nancy), called Camping.

     As the night wound down and I drove back home, recalling the night’s events, the amazing extent to which the DIY mindset brings together a local community of musicians and music-lovers became apparent. There is no pretension to be found here, only artists openly and eagerly sharing their creations to people who receive them and forge their own opinions about them.