If I had to limit myself to a single word to describe this lineup, it would be best delineated as this: electric. The concert began with Luna Pier, an indie rock band based right here in Ann Arbor, Michigan and fronted by WCBN’s very own, Dexter Kaufmann. Luna Pier demonstrated tremendous versatility and eclecticism, incorporating elements of surf rock, new wave, and garage rock into their act. They even delved into country music with their original song, “Jewish Cowboy” and a cover of Dolly Parton’s 1973 classic, “Jolene.” Their cover was a well executed amalgamation of the original and the rock-oriented version done by The White Stripes during their live shows throughout the 2000s. Luna Pier set the tone of the night by constructing a unique set that allowed them to showcase their musical talents and their ability to engage with the audience.
Next to take the stage was Never Ending Fall, a Los Angeles based band that delivered a funky, California sound that had the crowd grooving for the entirety of their performance. One of many highlights possessed by NEF was their three guitar attack, which proved to be an absolute tour de force. Each guitarist exhibited immense technical skill and inherent feel when it came to their instrument. As a guitarist myself, I was beyond impressed by their playing abilities. Original songs such as “Bad Taste,” “Like She Does,” and “Wasn’t So Bad” displayed the band’s ability to write and perform catchy, hooky songs that can instantly resonate with an audience. The moment from NEF’s set that captivated me the most, however, was their rendition of Childish Gambino’s 2016 hit song, “Redbone.” During the middle section of the song, the band broke into a jam of epic proportions, where frontman Jack Miller played a masterful, melodic guitar solo that exuded intense emotion. Never Ending Fall is certainly a band that is now on my radar and I am extremely excited to hear more from them in the future.
As the lights dimmed, chants of “QOC!” erupted throughout The Blind Pig. I was first introduced to Quarters of Change when I heard their song “T Love” on TikTok in 2022, a video that has now surpassed 1.2 million views on the platform. This prompted me to listen to the rest of their discography, and I have been a fan ever since. When I saw that QOC were coming to Ann Arbor on their tour, I did not want to miss the opportunity to see them live. And let me tell you, they did not disappoint. The band commanded the stage with a sense of swagger, much like fellow New York City alternative rockers, The Strokes and The Bravery. This is very much in part to frontman Ben Roter’s on-stage charisma and frequent interactions with fans throughout the show. Guitarists, Jasper Harris and Ben Acker and drummer, Attila Anrather are all excellent musicians in their own right. The band’s sophomore album “Portraits” is set to be released on January 26th, 2024, in which there are three tracks already released as singles, “What I Wanted,” “Do or Die,” and “Hollywood Baby.” QOC excellently performed all three of these tracks live, along with fan favorites such as “Kiwi,” “Jaded,” and the aforementioned “T Love.” Quarter of Change’s guitar-driven sound and pop sensibilities have already garnered a strong fanbase, and their popularity continues to grow by the day. Their performance at The Blind Pig revealed that their acclaim is undoubtedly warranted.