|Stan Says:||Jodi Says:|
|The Between was the first act of three that night at the Evening Muse. The band consists of “Rocketman” McNeeley on guitars and vocals; Jim Gray on bass guitar; Diego Sanchez on drums; and Danielle Engle on vocals. I noticed that there were guys on guitar, bass, drums and then a female singer and so before they took the stage I couldn’t help but compare them in my mind to Pat Benatar and her band. Danielle was dressed very much like Pat, pre the “Get Nervous” album. Their sound could easily venture into that range and style, yet did not even come close. I say this as a compliment as they were able to keep from taking the easy route. Powerful and straight forward, they performed as a tight band. What got me was that they expressed a philosophy that I absolutely love. Paraphrasing what they said, it was along the lines of “What’s outside that door is out there, we’re in here to enjoy ourselves and celebrate music and be together.” I’ve heard other musicians express similar sentiments and ideas and it’s always good when it is acknowledged that this is what we’re here for and to experience.
In addition to a great philosophy, The Between have developed a pretty good sound. Danielle’s voice fits the music very well and Rocketman’s guitar work is strong, including some very good solos. First few songs that they showed their chops and were hitting their stride, which is right at that moment that they, consciously or not, decided to impress me. They played a cover song. They played “Message In A Bottle” originally done by the Police. I’m not quiet about my love-hate relationship with cover songs. On the one side, I tend to compare bands I see to bands I’ve seen and heard and am familiar with already. In doing so, I find a song that I think they would sound great doing. A song that they should cover. I hadn’t gotten to that point yet, when The Between went into this Police cover. Shocked by it, I wrote the title down, underlined it and then added “with sultry vocals” – I also noted that they had cool offset vocals on the “Sending out an S.O.S.” part. Really a great way to rework a song. My love-hate relationship with covers is that yes, on the one side I recognize the similarity between a band and the work of a band with whose music I may be more familiar, however the other side of that is that there is a wonderful thing that happens when a band takes a song and makes it their own, meanwhile honoring the original. Very few bands have achieved this, though I have examples that detail the exquisite, I have to say that The Between have made great strides in that regard.
After they performed the cover song, they moved into new songs that had the place rocking. A great set altogether, though this or any article on this band, The Between, would be completely remiss if it did not mention in detail their closing song. “Raise It Up” is a toasting song, a cheering song and one that I greatly enjoyed. Talking about raising the glass in honor of, well, just being there. Raise it up in celebration, this song seems to be written with respect to the music and the philosophy that The Between create and exude. Raise your glass and cheer, this band started the night off well. I look forward to hearing them and will go see them again if I’m able and I hope to hear a longer set by them when I do.
|The Between is Danielle Engle on vocals, Rocketman (Guitar Liger), on guitar and vocals, Jim Gray on bass and Diego Sanchez on drums. These guys have been playing for about a year at this point and they are sounding like a Rock and Roll band with one guitar, one bass, and one drummer on stage (plus a lot of vocals). Danielle has very strong vocals and reminds me of the strength and a little bit in her sound of Stevie Nicks, though is not as gruff as Stevie, but with the honest and sometimes sultry sounds coming out in the songs.
They really play well together, and have a good sound. Their first song opened with some fine symbol playing by the drummer. It wasnâ€™t annoying, and this pleased me. A surprising song choice this evening was a cover of Police â€śMessage in a Bottleâ€ť, which they did really well. I like Sting, but wow, this is a very well done and fun cover. I enjoyed that each of their original songs have a unique sound to them, and sometimes donâ€™t even have a break between songs. My favorite song of the night â€śUnder Your Spellâ€ť, has a hint of November Rain, with very intriguing bass lines throughout.
Overall, they sound like a Rock and Roll band and toast the crowd for coming out and joining them for a wonderful evening of sound. They would sound good on the bill with Side by Side, and a few other local bands who also play with a very similar style of music.