Concert Review: Oka Tygra at Molly’s Lounge
For the first day of Santa Fe’s fifth annual AHA Festival of Progressive Arts, our city traded some of our local bands for those in Denver. Hence came Poets Row, The Still Tide, and Oka Tygra to Santa Fe, performing at Molly’s Lounge. Although I initially felt like a fish out of water (what the fuck is “Shoegaze”, anyway?) our neighbors to the North proved that their underground music scene is a force to be reckoned with. Take a look:
Poets Row were the opening act. Although I only caught the last few minutes of their set, they have a website and a bandcamp, and their music is decent if you’re into the indie-folk scene. The following band, The Still Tide, were characterized by the melancholy sorrow of the female voice, sung solo or in harmony, coupled with atmospheric keyboard leads and drums. However, the highlight of the night was Oka Tygra.
This band was both structured and impulsive, which reminded me of thrash metal. However, thrash has an anxious immediacy, usually focused on intense emotions such as anger, fear, ecstasy, etc. Whereas indie music is more mellow and content. Their music was not energetic overkill, nor was it completely sad, but balanced in the middle ground between opposite extremes. The bass lines were Oka Tygra’s musical cornerstone. I finally understand that “bass” is a pun on “base”, as it is indeed the foundation for a musical structure, linking beat, rhythm, and melody. The drums were snappy and predominately comprised of snares and toms, although the kick pedal was thudding beneath it all. The keyboard and vocals were ambient and atmospheric, completing the equation.
With this concert came the revelation that music doesn’t have to be intense to be enjoyable, although my favorite songs are usually about excess, whether it be of adrenaline, chemicals, or even joy. However, the spectrum of human emotion is broad, and chilled-out music like this prove that it is advisable, every once in a while, to take a walk on the mild side. Three stars out of five.