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Published: 2013/06/16

Calexico/The Sheepdogs/Depedro, The Vogue Indianapolis, IN – 6/13

“Welcome to the Festival!” Shouted Jairo Zavala, the Spanish guitarist otherwise known as Depedro. It was a strange comment, looking over the sparsely filled lower half of The Vogue, but it turned out to be an accurate statement. The energetic singer/songwriter spun his flamenco styled creations passionately and happily, easily getting the small crowd vamped up for the evening ahead. He was joined by members of Calexico for a few numbers creating an uplifting jammy mood.

This was taken one step further with the entrance of The Sheepdogs. It seems that sometimes the energy of this band’s music cannot be fully appreciated until witnessing them live. Lead Guitarist Leot Hanson paced his end of the stage trance-like ripping out 70’s influenced solos that perfectly conjoined the vocal beltings of Ewen Currie who was not afraid to do his own fair share of leads. The rhythm section of Ryan Gullen on bass and Sam Corbett on drums was a blur of hair and funk, driving each song to a greater level. By the end of the set, I can guarantee half of the crowd wanted to start a band.

Calexico came next and rounded out the evening with a completely different sound. In typical Tex-Mex flavor, frontman Joey Burns lead the way through a myriad of songs spanning the bands near-twenty year span. More subtle than The Sheepdogs, Calexico was definitely not any less intense. Whether dark and brooding or robust and spicy, the gaggle of multi-instrumentalists, as well as Zavala on lead guitar, crated lush layers of sound filling the venue with euphony.

To see these three acts on a single stage was a pleasant surprise. Zavala had it right when he called it a festival, albeit a small one. The variety of acts created an evening that left most satisfied at the end, despite the odd mix of flavors.

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