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Everest At Tarfest on Sunday, September 25th, 2011

That soon-to-be-famous band, hand-picked by Neil Young himself ,was playing at Tarfest on Sunday afternoon, and frontman Russell Pollard had decided to show that his five-piece band (consisting of Jason Soda, Joel Graves, Elijah Thomson, and Davey Latter on drums) was made to play outside, in large open air, as most of their songs have this big 70s-rock-inspired sound.

Right away, they made a big statement with their opener ‘Rapture’, a dark and tough expansive rocking number, with three-voice harmonies and a psychedelic wall of guitars.
Despite the Americana feeling that transpires from them, their songs were nevertheless offering a large sonic variety, and the band gave a good idea of their diversity with the bluesy ‘I’ve had this feeling before’, the true country-rocking ‘House of 9’s’, the nervous foot-tapping rhythms of ‘Catalyst’, and the dance-beats-filled ‘Let go’.

I actually was enjoying their set much more than the first time I saw them, and when they played their classic ‘Rebels in the roses’, a catchy and inspiring tune which gathered an abundance of vocal harmonies over melancholic guitars, they touched the sensible chord of the crowd, who was singing along.

According to the setlist, they played songs that are not featured on their albums (so they had to be new songs), like ‘Into the grey’, which had some whistling and abrupt guitars, ‘Not an inch’, with an ascending sound, some dark-mood guitars behind brighter lines and an explosive progression, ‘Hologram’ with a tranquil beginning and a U2-style development, and a melancholic ‘Games’. The new material sounded completely in line with Everest’s music, although quite diverse.

The wide open sound was fitting the surrounding very well, and their anthemic numbers were just demonstrating that this band could well be arena ready..

I remember first seeing Russ Pollard when he was in the band Alaska! with Imaad Wasif, and sure, we are a bit far away from the soft harmonies of ‘Rust And Cyanide’, but there is still a little of this in Everest’s music, although the music is expanding each time I see them…, they are named after a mountain after all, and they mean it.

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