Red Star Bar--Baton Rouge
Frames of Reference
February 17, 2005
Everything that could have gone with Frames of Reference's set went wrong at The Red Star Bar Thursday night. First, the vocalist's mic wouldn't work. Second, the P.A. went out altogether. Third, the pianist lost power to his synthesizer. Fourth, the drummer's stool came undone while he was playing. That got a bunch of laughs. Fifth, the pianist lost power to his synthesizer again. It was painful to watch.
It was worse that the band let sound problems affect their performance. Liquidrone has been together for years, but it's still hard for them to get out of an onstage funk, according to bassist Marty Lastrapes, who was in attendance. He said it's difficult to not let it affect the band, that sometimes it's just one of those nights. That excuse was good enough for Lafayette band Frames of Reference, but it won't be good enough in the future. Bands need to find a way to conquer their psychological hurdles. You know why? Because the crowd sees the problems, too, and it's fun to watch and be with a band as they go from beaten to triumphant.
Frames of Reference took that trip, and the crowd clapped and cheered for their "screw it all" defiance, but this loose approach appeared during the last song. It was too little, too late. The band ended the song with a five minute noise jam, and they "attempted" to break their instruments(Note: Don't act like you're gonna break something and then bruise it. Break it.).
Frames of Reference played enjoyable dance Rock with undertones of frustrated love. The music had catchy melodies, but the band wasn't experienced or confident enough to get me into the music by making me believe in their passion for it. They didn't attack. The group was stoic, and the lead singer mumbled away from the mic.
Years ago bands were relegated to a small section of the Red Star's room, but now the bar gives half of the room to performers. It was a cozy, intimate venue.