Stephanie Deere

Henry Clay People @ The Satellite – 12/03/2012

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In support of their tenth year anniversary since the band was first formed, The Henry Clay People kicked off their month-long residency at The Satellite last Monday night. Their delivery was tight and intense, playing an incredible range of music throughout their career while showing off their competence and versatility. The bands stage presence was unparalleled, and it was easily one of the best performances I’ve seen at the Satellite in awhile.

For those of you that haven’t yet been introduced, The Henry Clay People are a Los Angeles-based quartet, with a pair of EPs and four full-length albums, including their latest creation Twenty-five For The Rest Of Our Lives. Henry Clay People inhabits genuine punk rock with unusual force, transforming from bratty garage-rock to clever lyrics, heart attack guitars, and youthful idealism.

The band takes the stage at 11pm while both Joey and Andy Siara played completely in sync as Eric Scott unrelenting driving drum beats were a force pushing the music forward. Talented bassist Noah Green played with his eyes closed at times, aware of what was about to come next. The boys laid down thirteen tracks, each one more captivating than the next. Andy and Joey also had a quirky and funny demeanor that came through between each song and was confident without being arrogant whatsoever.

“Working Part-time” was the second song of the night. It was one of the very first songs I ever heard from HCP, which the sound of it unlocked a whole corridor of musical tradition and allowed me new access to forms I’d always felt separated from.

The structure of “Backseat of a Cab” and “Andy Sings!” captures the siblings’ stage dynamic, where Andy takes vocal lead, and Joey dominates the chorus. More favorites came from For Cheap or For Free “Rock n’ Roll Has Lost It’s Teeth” and Somewhere On the Golden Coast “Two Nights Of The End Of Night”, settling nicely with the crowd like a fine whiskey getting better with time.

Other highlights included “Fakers” and “California Wildfire” with spot-on guitar riffs and vocals with incomparable energy. Lastly, “Hide” was a perfect example of what Henry Clay People is all about — catchy, affecting music that is blended with obstacles of nostalgia and growing up too fast.

As soon as the show began, it was clear The Henry Clay People have been together awhile. The crowd jumped and danced and yelled, fists in the air, just like they’d been doing all night. Inside, the room was packed and sweltering, filled with a diverse crowd, while PBR seemed to be the drink of choice. Unfortunately, these shows will be the last for drummer Eric Scott as he will go on to pursue a career as a full-time architect. Still, everything about The Henry Clay People, from their overtly polite stage demeanor, to their music, evocative of days gone past, recalls a great night.

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