Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles & High Five Danger Surpassed Pop Music Expectations

I always wonder what shows I’m getting invited to and why if it’s bands I’ve never heard of. I almost never get led astray by friends or acquaintances but there have been times I’ve come close to leaving shows because it’s just not my style or what I’m in the mood for at that moment. This was one of those shows that I had no clue what the music would be and hadn’t listened to the bands before hand so it was a complete surprise to my buddy Andrew and I as we rolled into Local Celebrity like we had wheels beneath our jello legs.

Forgot where the house was where we were planning on going so we decided this was the place to be and as we ponied up to the bar it felt like we had stumbled onto so something that could go either way. A half dozen beautiful guitars strewn about made my mouth begin to salivate and soon after High Five Danger strolled up on stage but not before speaking briefly with Andrew and I saying that they are referred to as “post punk power pop” which was a mouthful and a bit of a this could go either way moment once again. The lead guitarist a gentleman dressed up in a black and white suit supposing to be the phantom of the opera. Too bad it gets a little sweaty on stage in a crowded bar because his mask he had prepared would not stick to his face. Made a wise crack and moved on to cement the description they gave earlier for their band.

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However I loved the psych blues influences on lead guitar and the post punk bass and drum lines that form interwoven arrangements of sound with the guitars. Pedals and switches galore. A band I would rather see live or hear while driving down the road than maybe at a party but these guys can certainly jam and their bassist will forever be known to my friends as “Stumpboy” because he was affixed to the 3 foot wide stump that hugs the Local Celebrity stage_ that’s of course what it’s there for, he just owned it.

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Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles were a bit like a mix between Tom Petty and Radiohead and made me want to enjoy a beer on the beach. Almost country psych similar to early Zac Brown band but less pop country. If Jimmy Buffet and Rod Stewart had a baby it’d be Matt Hopper. Yet he has his own style that is as mellow they come. Music to feel good and just relax. Certainly will see them again if they’re in town.

Matt Hopper — vocals & lead guitar

Brian Date — pedal steel

Bryon Garfinkle — drums

Winston Montecillo — bass

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