All-ages venues come and go fairly often in Sacramento, but rarely does one’s identity transcend that of local music hot spot and become a gathering place for all things local. Art gallery, café, and vintage clothing boutique are but a few ways to describe Bows and Arrows, the latest and greatest venue to break our hearts by closing its doors for good. This past Friday we were treated to a slew of great bands it what was sadly the last Bows and Arrows show.
The night kicked off with Hit Reset, three young guns out of Stockton. They cranked out nine or ten pop-punk tunes, much to the delight of fellow David Hayden, who was front and center for the whole set. Boats! took the stage next. Boats! really knocked this set out of the park, and a lot of that credit is due to new drummer Adam Jennings. He really gives the band a new sound, which is great since David believes that, “Sacramento is really big on new bands”. Adam’s talent, when combined with Matt and David’s fresh set of power-pop jams gives them the potential for the successful reboot they desire.
Next up Adam transformed into his alter-ego Sodo Pop and his new band Shoujo Kitten jumped on stage next for a quick two-song set. There’s no real way to describe what was witnessed during that set, but there wasn’t a soul in the room that wasn’t left wanting more. Not long after, the lights dimmed and the Charles Albright band took the stage. They assaulted our eyes and ears, bringing the crowd to such a frenzy that a truly rare sight was seen at a local Sacramento show: a mosh pit broke out! Bodies flew, beer spilled, all in the glory of the lights and sounds engulfing us all. All four bands came to please and they did not disappoint; everyone wanted more.
Then, the Four Eyes slowly took the stage… “This room’s not gonna clear itself!” yelled Jay Baker, and just like that, the mood shifted. We were transported back to the mellow Bows and Arrows that we’re all used to. No matter where they play, The Four Eyes’ shows always have a certain feeling of intimacy, as all their friends are gathered tightly in front of them, all shouting inside jokes and song requests in the bands’ faces. Those unfamiliar with their brand of camaraderie must certainly feel as if they’re being subjected to some kind of cruel garage-rock endurance test. Those in the know, however, appreciated the gift before them and enjoyed sharing it amongst the deserving few that stuck around until the bitter end.
What looked like a fun show on paper truly surpassed all expectations. We were all treated to what every venue deserves: one hell of a going away party. Thank you Bows and Arrows for providing such a wonderful space for Sacramento to enjoy while we could, and we can only hope that someone makes proper use of the space as we move into 2014.
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Charles Albright performing “Drop Out” at the final Bows and Arrows Show 1/31/14