Last Friday night I got wasted. No, not like the Katy Perry song, but because of some spirit-reaching, soul-overtaking music from DC-based opener Mission South & hometown headliner Second Dam at The Haunt.
What I thought would be a casual night to support my buddies turned into a non-stop jam & groovefest to the best surprise my ears have heard in a long time.
You know those amazing bands you unexpectedly come across and, in a fit of disbelief, all you can think throughout the show is, "YES!!!"? That’s what Mission South was.
(Photo by David Medeiros)
The rest of the crowd was right there with me. You could feel the love emanating from the audience; this was not Mission South’s last show in Ithaca, but the beginning of a feverish love affair.
Their sound is a powerful mix of funk, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll inspiration. Dan Miller, lead vocalist, instantly captures your heart with his almost-raspy, passionate voice and thought-provoking lyrics.
“Tie my hands so I learn to be patient. Tie my hands so I can feel free. Will I ever be free? I will be all I see in my mind, you’re only worth what you leave behind." (Free, Migration Vol. 2)
Needless to say, I forgot this was just the opening act. By the time Second Dam hit the stage, I was ready to m*therf*cking rumble.
And that’s exactly what we did. All night long.
(Photo by Jake Lifschultz)
KC Weston, their lead vocalist, was rocking a floor-length, black & blue dress with some dangly, gold earrings. It was so satisfying to see her dressed like the true rockstar she is. Their performance has dramatically improved since their start-up days, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. “The SS” and “Pangs” are some of my favorite songs from their newest album, Swimming.
Second Dam also played a few even newer songs not on this album that truly showed off their incredible ability to create slow-paced, yet commanding music. My heart wrenched watching Weston on stage, following the emotions of the song as if for the first time.
Second Dam and Mission South are the kinds of bands that remind you what this sometimes extravagant and misguiding industry is all about:
The flashing lights, the fame, the fancy arenas… none of it adds up to what great music does on its own.
Get ready, world. Two jaw-dropping acts are just getting started, and they’re headed your way.