Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

REVIEW ; Liz Vice, `Mountain Stage' Newcomers Rev Up Audience

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

REVIEW ; Liz Vice, `Mountain Stage' Newcomers Rev Up Audience

Article excerpt

A good night at "Mountain Stage" is when you get what you paid to see - a band whose records you already have - and then you get to hear something fantastic from someone you've never heard of. "Mountain Stage" prides itself on music discovery, sharing new songs and artists their audience might not have found anywhere else.

It's a good thing to be proud of.

At Sunday night's sold-out performance at the Culture Center, people got what they paid to see - most likely singer/songwriter Brett Dennen and Colorado-based folk outfit Elephant Revival.

Both were returning favorites.

They also got Liz Vice, a film student turned soulful singer/ songwriter; the Lords of Liechtenstein, a pair of brothers from New Jersey who looked like they stepped out of the pages of mid-1980s Sears catalog; and Cracker, a '90s alt-rock band led by David Lowery, whose musical compass seems to be set to free-spin.

Vice was the first surprise of the evening. A newcomer who said she'd only been performing for the last two years, the Portland singer and her trio opened the show with a jazzy take on Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and then moved on to gospel-infused soul.

For someone with only a year or year and a half of touring under her belt, Vice knew how to play with a crowd. She did much more than get the audience up on their feet or get them singing along. Vice got strangers to wrap their arms around their neighbors and sway together as they sang along with her.

That doesn't happen at every "Mountain Stage.

Next up: The Lords of Liechtenstein.

Rocking argyle sweater vests, the brothers were an interesting cross-pollination of Simon and Garfunkel and They Might Be Giants, perhaps with a dash of The Smothers Brothers.

They sang songs ranging from the introspective to the amusingly weird - a song about social issues in America, as seen from the eyes of movie monsters like King Kong and the shark from Jaws. …

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