06 April 2011

Live: The Dean’s List (100Bands #51)

posted by: Lydia 100Bands | Live Reviews | Reviews

What’s Left: 150 Days. 49 Bands.

Band #50: The Dean’s List

When/Where: April 5th, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Expectations: I didn’t particularly love the latest release from The Dean’s List (The Drive In). Funny thing was, all of my friends seemed to be going to the show to specifically see these guys (over Brenton Duvall and XV). Clearly they must put on a good show.

Concert: So that whole ‘clearly they put on a good show’ thing? Total understatement. I riddle you not: Sonny Shotz is a ridiculously entertaining performer. When I got to the venue, I met up with Brenton Duvall and went backstage to meet the performers. Brenton was his usual self: fun, youthful, energetic, hyper. XV was incredibly sweet and remembered me from an interview we had done about 8 months ago. The guys from The Dean’s List, on the other hand, were a lot more standoffish and quiet. Sonny, DJ Mendoza, and drummer Tyler Thompson were all on one couch, choosing to keep to themselves a bit.

As it turned out, the majority of the crowd showed up to see The Dean’s List. They waited anxiously through two local openers and Brenton’s act for The Dean’s List to take the stage, after which most left before watching XV perform. While this was disappointing to me, I must say, they got their money’s worth with The Dean’s List. The show was incredibly upbeat, there was a full band (they recruited Berklee student Ellis Tucker to be their guitarist on the road – he is an INCREDIBLE guitar player) with a bass guitarist, drummer, and a DJ, and Sonny dominated the entire front section of the stage.

Within seconds of being on stage, Sonny took his shirt off and got really into his performance. While it’s hard to put my finger on what exactly had me so incredibly sold on his act, here are a few things. The dude puts all of his might into rapping. His dance moves are entertaining. He raps a’capella at times, which furthers the intensity. He corrals around stage, hyping up his fellow band members, pushing them around playfully. And last but not least, he appears to have an incredible time on stage. It’s fun to watch, the music is upbeat and lively, and the crowd was loving it. And let me tell you, the second “Dear Professor” came on, the crowd went absolutely wild.

Concert Afterglow: Um, wow. I could wash my clothes using Sonny Shotz’s abs. Just sayin.

Recommendation: Like I said, I wasn’t a huge fan of The Drive In, but the culture and the attitude of the music is completely different when it’s performed live. It’s convincing, it’s fun, and I’m a total fan.


“Dear Professor” – The Dean’s List

Written by Lydia

*Photography Disclaimer: my camera wasn’t working. Sorry for the poor quality; I had to use my cell phone.

Did you know that Sunset in the Rearview writers are trying to see and review 100 live shows in 365 days? Read More about 100Bands and See Our Other Reviews.


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