On Thursday, September 15, I had the chance to see Florida’s Tonstartssbandht perform at one of my favorite venues in the city, Sleeping Village. What I thought would be an unassuming Thursday evening turned out to be an amazing night of music discovery.
Opening the show were locals Charlie Reed Band – an indie band with equal parts country-western and psych pop influences. The five-piece band presented a great 40-minute setlist featuring tracks from their debut record, Eddy, which came out this past summer.
Tonstartssbandht, a duo of brothers Andy and Edwin White (listen to the clever intro track to their 2009 album An When for a lesson on pronunciation) have released over fifteen albums (studio + live) since their inception over a decade ago. To call them prolific would be an understatement.
Throughout the band’s discography, they explore different sound palettes and genres, although you could describe all their records as generally “psychedelic”. They ran through a good amount of material in a 75-minute set, starting with cuts from their earlier records, which heavily feature samplers and electronics rather than the guitar-focused work of recent albums. Eventually Andy stepped away from his sampler pad to pick up his beautiful Danelectro 12-string and they ripped through selections from albums such as 2017’s Sorcerer and last year’s standout, Petunia.
One of the best things about watching a band perform is to see the joy it not only brings the rest of the crowd, but the joy it brings the performers themselves. Tonstartssbandht was a perfect example of this; from Andy’s goofy banter in between songs to the look of pure ecstasy on his face during a solo, you can tell this is what these brothers want to be doing. Watching them have fun on stage granted the audience that much more joyful of a concert-going experience.