Having just heard about FredRock a weekend before the event, I was unsure what to expect this past Saturday. I’m happy to report FredRock is indeed a shining example of the local DIY scene and luckily, the event occurs regularly on the last weekend of each month. The event is located at the Frederick Moose Lodge, but don’t be discouraged parents and teens, organizer Kenny Eaton maintains one of his primary goals that FredRock “provide a safe venue for young musicians and fans to enjoy live music”. The event room is completely separate from the bar area including having its own entrance. Everyone (which was between 20 or 30 heads by 2pm) was there for the music and the chance to talk to others about local music scene happenings. The crowd is typically teenage music enthusiast and some supporting adults working at the food stand or supporting their kid. In fact, if you have a teenager, why not attend this event with them? On the flip side however if you’re on the farther end of the age spectrum and without kids in a band, say late 20’s or 30 something, there is still plenty to like about FredRock. Bring a friend and you will enjoy discovering new bands and chatting about what music styles are being reflected locally.
The Moose Lodge event room is a comfortable and cool place to spend the day. How many festival style events have you been to with clean bathrooms? Definitely a plus on its own, but besides clean bathrooms and plenty of roaming space, I actually like the décor and two-stage setup. The event room is setup as an all-purpose room and is lightly decorated with seasonal décor, but behind each stage is a great set of window framed mirrors and Vampire Weekend’esc chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. There is also a disco ball with some blue lights and small decorative mural images here and there that give the venue a bit of style. The bands go a long way in making the venue their own too, filling up merchandise tables with tees, stickers and cd’s and on occasion bands like Time Columns decorate the stage area with lights and such . Time flew by while I was there and before I knew it, the time ‘o day was 5pm and I had to start making my way toward the J. Roddy Walston show at the Ottobar.
Before I left however, I got the chance to hear several new bands and many of them were really great. Seriously, Frederick’s got talent (!) and I’m so excited that FredRock is providing a community atmosphere to support our local up and coming musicians. I was impressed that all of the bands had original material and only did a cover song on occasion to get folks “riled up”. I knew the event was going to be good when In Our Shallow Grave , a Gaithersburg band opened the event at 12:30pm with a strong performance in the genre of screamo hardcore. I usually have the tendency to say all screamo bands kind of sound the same, but In Our Shallow Graves brought their own dimension with a series of unique growls and screams. I also liked the occasional hint of punk rock rhythms. Frederick based emo band, Go Home Freshmen was the next highlight putting on a fun stage show that was quite popular with the crowd. Another Frederick band and perhaps my favorite young local group of the afternoon was Late Scenes who brought an old school punk rock flavor and some catchy rhymes. It was hard to hear the vocals during their FredRock performance, but I picked up a cd (which was free!) and have really honestly been diggin it. A little more confidence and strength in the vocals and man o’ man, you got dynamite. Lastly, the two more senior highlights of the afternoon that I was able to see before heading out were Arden and Time Columns . Arden are Baltimore based but with ties more locally in the Woodbine area. The five-member band put on a polished set of indie pop rock which had the crowd buzzing afterwards and a swarm of kids hitting the merch table. Arden played many songs from their new album, The Big Picture that you can preview online and/or purchase for an amazing $7, very much worth the price. Look for Arden to continue their rise amongst the Baltimore indie scene. Time Columns consists of just two members Kenny Eaton (FredRock organizer) on guitar and Joe Benny on drums/ samples, but are obviously veterans and good at what they do. Uniquely in the local scene, Time Columns are a progressive rock band. Their set at FredRock was not disappointing. Progressive rock is generally noted for its complex structures and intricate instrumental composition and to pull off a good prog rock show live like Time Columns can, is a great accomplishment. Thank you to Time Columns for bringing a sophisticated form of rock to the kids of Frederick and equally important, sponsoring FredRock! Thank you to the Frederick Moose Lodge also for giving FredRock and the kids a chance to shine.
Overall, I want to stress what a great contribution FredRock is becoming to support a LOCAL music community (not just a venue, but a feeling of community) in Frederick. Please come out to the next show scheduled for August 28, 2010 and enjoy some great music while supporting the community. At a mere $7 a ticket, you cannot afford to miss it!
Related Links FredRock Photos FNP Interview