Hopefuls & Mouthful of Bees

I have just arrived home after spending my late-evening at the Triple Rock Social club. I am still too pumped from my bike ride home to just jump into bed, so I write this instead, listening to Stevie Wonder, hoping to settle down.

Though I have not been to a show in a while, I was able to remember that the triple rock is both a) late to start, and b) really loud. Therefore I left my apartment at about 10:15pm with earplugs in pocket. A half hour bike ride later I arrived at the triple rock. The first act of three had only just begun at 10:45 and I was able to have a short conversation with John Hermanson and Heath Henjum of the Hopefuls before Mouthful of Bees took the stage.

I have heard many exciting things about Mouthful of Bees, and have given their EP a few listens. However, I have not caught the same sense of excitement that seems to be (no pun intended) buzzing about this group. Their EP sounds hastily conceived, and semi-professionally recorded. In a live setting the band plays very well together, but it appears that they are still getting the hang of together a live stage show. Apparently only friends of the band were available on a thursday night to fill out the bar; silly banter that seemed to revolve around inside jokes between the lead singer the few audience members made up the majority of the Bees non-musical presence. The female drummer of the group put on the best performance in my mind. She solidly played her parts, kept a good groove, and did not seem to falter the few times songs fell apart due to technical difficulties and guitar playing errors. Also, there were some really great fills played, as well as some cool cymbal grabs for dramatic (and song orchestration) effect!

The Hopefuls are a band that I have known and listened to for some time. Last summer the group went through a line-up change that took one of the two front men out of action (along with his songs). This is unfortunate for a myriad of reasons. Erik appelwick was an integral part of the band. Seeing the Hopefuls without him is not bad, in fact their stage presence and general "rock" factor was off the charts, however I prefer the erik appelwick incarnation for a list of reasons:

  1. i like erik appelwick
  2. his songs were my favorite
  3. my fond memories of the initial lineup and initial release while I was interning for their label
  4. his harmonies were amusing
  5. i like erik appelwick

I'm sure other, better reasons are available, and if i had spent more than 23 seconds writing that list they would have become apparent. The point is that The Hopefuls are still good, great even, but they have sort of become a caracature of their former glory. Now they are sort of a hybrid for what was once Alva Star and what was once The Olympic Hopefuls... (oh yeah the hopefuls used to be called the olympic hopefuls, but were threatened with a lawsuit by the U.S. Olympic commitee if they did not change their name... apparently the Olympics did not want to sponsor a rock band). The show they put on was really great, the crowd really got into it, and they played some really great Alva Star songs in addition to the Hopeful songs courtesy of Darren Jackson.

So, Mouthful of Bees will hopefully learn to live up to their buzz, and though I am dissapointed that Erik Appelwick is no longer in the hopefuls, they still put on an entertaining show.