Eliza Battle’s Cheers to That 7” feels like it was a long time coming, despite the fact that the band has only spent about a year together. Since forming in late 2014, the band has already logged an impressive resume. Gigs with the likes of Single Mothers and toyGuitar? Yep. Spot on the Punk Rock Bowling maintstage? Check. Tours? They’re in the midst of one right now!
So their 7” release show seemed less like an inevitability and more like a “finally!” Or maybe a “hey, can we have more than two songs?” But I don’t want to be too greedy.
And about halfway through his band’s headlining set at Vinyl, Eliza Battle frontman Nick Shelton described his first experience at the Hard Rock venue. “I was seeing the Hold Steady, and the band has had such a positive impact on me” he explained “but it’s even better being up here surrounded by my favorite local musicians, people in town who inspire me.”
And there was no shortage of local musicians on the Vinyl floor, which was not packed but with a super respectable turnout for a Wednesday night. Members of TheCore., War Called Home, Be Like Max and Rayner were among the local musicians in question, joining the rest of the punk/Americana lovers to belt out the chorus to “Cheers to That,” the A side to the 7” the show was being held for, dance to the always rollicking “Let’s Die Together” and hang on the four part vocals of “Ain’t It Ready,” giving the song an anthemic feel, especially with how well Shelton and backing vocalist Tina Dawn’s voices blend together.
The band has come a long way from their auspicious debut in Boulder City as a three-piece last year, and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Also in the crowd were members of Alex and His Meal Ticket and Lawn Mower Death Riders, the show’s opening bands and Shelton’s self-proclaimed favorite bands in Vegas. Alex was up first, playing the guitar made famous by Marvin Berry and making his cousin Chuck proud with a soulful voice and bluesy riffs that is like the awesome lovechild of Jon Spencer and the Black Keys.
Lawn Mower Death Riders rode the folky line, with tracks like “Split This Egg in Half” and “Down at the Pub” making the point that this band really, really needs to be on Chuck Ragan’s next Revival Tour. Their biggest crowd reaction came from a baroque cover of “500 Miles,” turning the pop/rock mainstay into a lost Tom Waits jam that had everyone singing, despite frontman Ian Stewart’s playful insistence that singing along is too distracting.
Photos by Aaron Mattern | https://www.flickr.com/photos/akmofoto/