Panther Martin, local indie-rock quartet whose sounds remind simultaneously of the Strokes and California in the summer opened for Chicago’s The Walters at Hi-Dive on Monday 4/17. The entire line-up was stacked just right; Summer Salt, Panther Martin and The Walters all play off of a similar harmonic and doo-wop pop sound, each offering their own singular interpretation, but it was the local band Panther Martin in particular that drew our interest.
The four piece band is composed of Boulder natives Dan Bombard and Davey Weaver of local label Group Hug, David Pierpoint, and Evan McCandless. These Boulder boys grew up playing in rival bands throughout high-school. Bombard tells Axis Music:
We all went to high-school together and played in what we are now calling "rival" bands. McCandless and Weaver played in a notable band named Neptune's Only Daughter (then called The Propellers). David Pierpoint and I played in a very lame/cool band called Robofunk. Fast forward to 2014, Pierpoint and I were loitering outside of the Hi-Dive during UMS… We got to talking and discovered none of us were playing in bands. We agreed to meet the next day and have been practicing since.
An old curly-chord house phone standing in for a microphone gives Panther Martin a distinct vocal distortion, aiding to create an idiosyncratic sound while still remaining as easy, effortless and familiar as The Drums anything from Julian Casablancas. They rounded out their set with a slick cover of Buffalo Springfield’s Rock & Roll Woman and a cover of Little Joy’s Keep Me in Mind before they slipped off stage for Austin based band Summer Salt.
We definitely recommend attending their show with The Still Tide and Navy on 5/5. Their label Group Hug is on the rise as is Panther Martin, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them grabbing a premiere spot at this year’s UMS because of it.
Headlining band The Walters from Chicago stopped in Denver during a tour of their most recent single She's Gonna Leave You. Their sound has been described as "a wash of excitable indie rock that waves back and forth between great open textures and tight, coordinated polyrhythms. Featuring a healthy bit of male harmonies." Their harmonies layer into a simple and nostalgic vanilla cake. The Walters remind one of that teenage heartache and young love, summers and backseats. Their set started a little party pit; no one was drunk or overly obnoxious, and the crowd pushed around in what functioned as a mutually sweaty hug.
We were definitely excited to see their set, and have wanted to see them live (in all their boyish beauty) since 2014's Songs for Dads. Luke Olson, an uncanny look alike of a young James Franco, was born a performer. During the set he harped on about his days in musical theatre as a teenager, and the experience shows through in his stage presence. Olsen's initial composure erupted, and soon he was sweating out of his plain white tee and into renditions of everyone's favorites such as I Love You So and New Girl as well as tracks from their more recent Young Men, as well as their recent She's Gonna Leave You.
All in all, the show was one of the best we've had the chance to attend at Denver's Hi-dive, but we're sure that the summer of 2017 still has much to offer for us down the road.
If you missed this show, be sure not to miss Panther Martin pm May 5th. Get tickets here!