Ryan Chartrand

One of the most rewarding things my music will ever give me is a big huge hug. And then we will sit there and cuddle, eat popcorn and watch movies late into the night. I’ll feel warmer and happier than I did during any other moment of my day.

This is the reason why so many people followed the Ghost Mice/Matty Pop Chart tour into San Luis Obispo Sunday night. To be honest, I think more people followed this excursion than Rush’s last stadium tour. That’s quite amazing when you think about the number of people that have even heard of these bands. Far from indie circuit main stagers, Ghost Mice and Matty Pop Chart led their clan of fans in an amazing sing-a-long set of songs at Two Dogs’ Caf‚.

I arrived right before Kenny (from local band the Attractives) began his set. The show itself had been going since 3 p.m. where it opened with a potluck and a show at Mitchell Park. Sitting alone with his guitar, Kenny moved through a variety of songs before playing a rather vulgar song that hinged heavily on lyrics involving “head under a rainbow.”

Matty Pop Chart played next as a crew of high school and college students swarmed in next to each other. The music itself could easily have been played next door at the library, but it rumbled a sincere statement of the punk movement. Songs about being lonely, out of place and fighting all of those evil corporations were placed behind amazingly cute vocals and simple acoustic guitar work. It was very different than the raw aggression and anger that pushes so many away from punk rock, especially after they leave high school. Lead singer and only member Matt Tobey pushed through his set of songs with a smile and a rather shy look focused far away from the audience, who stared at him with full attention

Ghost Mice then climbed on stage quickly, aided by the fact that the show required no electronic equipment and set changes could move rapidly. To be honest, I felt a little left out because I was one of the few that did not know every single one of the lyrics. The show was amazing to watch though, as the Indiana based band played through songs describing schemes to steal pizza and the presence of life after high school. It was affectionate and touching to see so many young kids touched by something so honest and pure and earnest and helping. Part of the amazement came from the tolerance the crowd gives the artists because the artists give so much forgiveness to the crowd. Guitar tuning off of an accordion and missteps in lyrics are loved just as much as the songs themselves.

The show was definitely one of those rewarding musical experiences. Just as amazing as guitar solos, technical brilliance and genre-bending weirdness. I’m glad kids are finding this and latching onto it. In fact, I’m glad I found it because I’m latching on too.

Show tip: the Easy Star All Stars will be performing a reggae tribute to Radiohead on Wednesday at Downtown Brewing Co. It’s probably worth it merely to watch someone with dreads play the guitar solo from “Paranoid Android.”

Graham Culbertson is a journalism junior and is the general manager for KCPR.

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