Holiday Shores | Hi-Dive | Denver, CO

Article Contributed by stieber | Published on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Denver is a Broncos town.  When they play everything else takes a backseat. With the Broncos playing on Monday night, I did not expect Holiday Shores to draw much of a crowd for their show. Deservedly so, they had a bigger crowd than I anticipated. By the end of the night, they were far more interesting to watch than the Broncos.

What makes Holiday Shores unique is their sound. There is a glut of vintage influenced indie bands these days. These guys are different. They seem to draw more from surf rock rather than new wave.  This influence, even if it is slight, gives them a more distinguishable sound than many of their contemporaries. While listening to them play, I could not help but think of The Walkmen. What is also striking about this band is their confidence. The band looked at ease as they rolled through their set. Their sound was polished and they managed to successfully create good audio layering. As front man Nathan Pemberton shared with me after the set, “there are a couple of songs we are having trouble with live because we have not had the time to sit down and break them apart. The record is so dense that it is hard to assign four people all of those parts (when touring).”

Interviewing Pemberton was interesting. It gave me a chance to see another side of Holiday Shores. All too often I see a band perform well on stage and take for granted the amount of work that goes into having a successful tour.  It became clear during the interview that they are more or less feeling things out as their tour progresses. Pemberton revealed to me that they did not make set lists for their shows, instead opting to play what naturally came to them on stage.  “We don't have a set list. We have the first two or three and go from there. It makes for more breaks between songs but it is fun having no set pattern.” Pemberton's laid back demeanor can be deceiving. If there is one thing I took away from the interview it is that he is very driven. It was refreshing to see and interview a band that has seemingly found a balance between musically being taken seriously and their youthful inexperience (not a bad thing). On stage, they make it look so effortless. I did not see an up and coming band that just recently released their first LP Columbus'd the Whim. I saw a band that was focused and looks bound for bigger things.