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Monday, September 30, 2019

L.A. rockers Kolars prove their live dazzle is even brighter than their image at Will's Pub

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 11:44 AM

click to enlarge The Sh-Booms at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Sh-Booms at Will's Pub
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Kolars, The Sh-Booms and Timothy Eerie, Will’s Pub, Sept. 28

Everyone who’s anyone in the I-4 Corridor knows that local garage-soul syndicate the Sh-Booms are having a banner year. And the fact that this local show was a packed-out happening with even grander stage production than their big album release show back in March proves that this locomotive’s still rolling hard. Same with homegrown opener Timothy Eerie, whose psych-rock trips have recently hit peak potency and focus.

click to enlarge Timothy Eerie at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Timothy Eerie at Will's Pub
But it’s only now that I’ve experienced L.A. band Kolars. I use the word “experience” purposefully because that’s what you need to do to fully get this act.



click to enlarge Kolars - KOLARS
  • Kolars
  • Kolars
I really do hate to overweigh first impressions. I’ve left a lifetime of misguided ones and they’re clearly all wrong, right? But they have an adage-making way of sticking.

Which brings us to Kolars. I’ve been aware of the husband-wife project of Rob Kolar and Lauren Brown (both formerly of He’s My Brother She’s My Sister) for almost as long as they’ve been coming here. They’re a highly visual band that’s also very image-forward. And that image is the kind of pizzazz that could make some fold arms and raise an eyebrow.

click to enlarge Kolars at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kolars at Will's Pub
There are always lots of shows around town to choose from and, real talk, they just weren’t at the top of the wish list.

Here in the Orlando scene, though, there’s been a mounting and notably unanimous buzzing in my ear about their live goods from some pretty unimpeachable sources. And it’s become impossible to ignore any longer, so I finally went.

click to enlarge Kolars at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kolars at Will's Pub
On stage, singer-guitarist Rob Kolar’s swag and skill are clear. But it’s Lauren Brown who makes them an inimitable live spectacle. With an eye-popping brand of full-body percussion heroics that even venture into Tilly and the Wall tap-dancing territory, her performance drumming rewrites the game of live rhythm altogether.

click to enlarge Kolars at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kolars at Will's Pub
In an extraordinary feat of four-limbed coordination, she weaves her formal dance training into her percussion style, drumming with her hands and stomping and tapping with her feet. And it’s all done with the seamlessness and flair of a well-oiled dance routine. This is more than just gimmick. Choices such as mallets and deep drums prove there’s as much thought to sonic impact as there is to display.

click to enlarge Kolars at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kolars at Will's Pub
Oh, their music? It’s a swinging indie-rock kaleidoscope that’s unified only by their stomp, strut and sharp pop smarts. Take the Black Keys, refract them through a wider prism, then shoot it all through a disco ball and you might get some sense of Kolars. But whatever, they could be oozing smooth jazz and their show would still come with the highest recommendation. And the only way to truly understand it is to see them live.

click to enlarge Kolars at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kolars at Will's Pub
This couple are maximum performers with a stage show that is unequivocally like no other. So, in case you’re a hidebound dick like I apparently am, get over yourself and go see Kolars anytime they come near you.

click to enlarge Kolars at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kolars at Will's Pub

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