The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday June 25th

Review: People of Earth, Local Flora and Cosmic Punk rock Cat’s Cradle Back Room

People of Earth performed at the Back Room Cat's Cradle on March 2 with Local Flora and Cosmic Punk. Photo by Becca Fiely.
Buy Photos People of Earth performed at the Back Room Cat's Cradle on March 2 with Local Flora and Cosmic Punk. Photo by Becca Fiely.

People of Earth, Local Flora and Cosmic Punk graced the stage at Cat’s Cradle Back Room on March 2, filling the room with sounds of modern psychedelia and alternative indie.

I have been to a couple of shows at Cat’s Cradle, but never in the Back Room. The space was slightly smaller than the venue's main room, and with the color-changing stage lights and dim setting, it felt like stepping into a slightly alternate universe. It had two levels with ample seating and a scattering of tables that began to fill as the night went on.

Cosmic Punk, the first band to play, took the slowly growing audience by storm. This three-piece band from Chapel Hill describes themselves as an indie rock band and truly fulfill the genre title. The lead singer, Elayna Jean, led with an aura of distinction and poise, and faintly reminded me of a young Brittney Howard – but with her own unique flair. The bassist, Alex H., and drummer, Rick D., brought an incredible energy to the stage. Both performers and the crowd were feeding off each other as Cosmic Punk’s set progressed. 

"Too Much," my favorite song they performed, was released March 1. The song felt easy to dance to, and personally — as cliché as it may sound — it felt like driving around with the windows rolled down in the summer at dusk.

My favorite concerts are those where everyone moves and dances unabashedly, and I was so pleased to see that this concert was just that. More and more people began to show up as Local Flora started to prepare themselves to go on stage. Local Flora is a Chapel Hill-based four-piece band, consisting of Steve Wood, Charlie Garnett, Eric Sugarman and Peter Joyce. 

I have covered Local Flora before, and every time they perform, the community that surrounds them is outstanding. It feels like a genuine family type of atmosphere where everyone is bonded through music, and this dwindles down to the energy of the members themselves. They are a group of talented and kind people who seem as if spreading music and good energy is their main goal, which is something I admire greatly.

The band’s sound can only be described as psychedelic rock with other alternative indie rock influences weaved into their sound. My favorite dance tune of theirs is “Disco Baby.” The song has been played at past shows, and it showed as the audience was singing along with Wood.  

One of the greatest moments was the crowd surfing. To see someone floating across a sea of people is truly a remarkable sight — especially in a smaller venue like the Back Room.

People of Earth, Garnett's other band, took the stage at around 11 p.m. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay for a song and a half, but I was able to see just enough to experience the band’s essence. It was interesting to see the shift in audience as Local Flora left. It was very subtle, but the energy in the room was slightly manipulated while still keeping its original high.

The band describes their sound as combining elements of funk, math rock, jazz and jam band improvisation. I really loved the jam band improvisation. It felt extremely fitting for the setting we were in because the audience was really vibing out with the band. Garnett is wickedly talented at the bass, and going from one set to another with only about ten minutes in between is indicative of his passion for his music. The other members, Knox Engler and Gehrig Loughran, had talents that blended impressively and created a unique experience.

Each band brought their own unique sound, but in certain ways they were all very similar. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I feel as if the selection of bands and blending of different sounds was very clever. 


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