Glendale group the Henry Clay People delivered a rote workingmen set at House of Blues Tuesday night, which was met with audience apathy. It would be novel to see an emerging band display the talent worthy of the buzz being generated about them, but this was not the case with T.H.C.P.
The pop-rock quintet did not have the mix on their side. "This Ain't a Scene" and "Working Part Time" are strong songs that got lost at the H.O.B., and their signature track, "Something in the Water," went unnoticed.
It was not until the end of their set and the inclusion of covers -- Billy Joel's "Piano Man" and the interesting if flaccid "Bang the Gong" by T. Rex -- that things livened up for T.H.C.P., but by then the near-capacity crowd seemed to be more interested in what was to come.
Los Angelino quintet Airborne Toxic Event bused in to put on a rousing end-of-tour show. The headliners hit their stride early with an athletic version of "Does This Mean You're Moving On?" that inspired all band members to take advantage of the multilevel staging and cinematic backdrops.
Lead singer Mikel Jollet was talkative throughout the set, giving insights into inspirations for the songs. One after another came selections from their self-titled debut and then a surprise cover of classic hit "This Magic Moment," which blended seamlessly into the set. The often-redundant acoustic mini-set could have derailed the show, but Airborne pulled it off with aplomb, even throwing in a Springsteen cover.
If the promising new songs "Letters to Georgia" and "All I Ever Wanted" are any indication of what their next release holds, then the future looks bright for these indie-pop up-and-comers.
Artists: Airborne Toxic Event and the Henry Clay People
Venue: House of Blues
Show date: Novemeber 3, 2009
Seats: General admission