AGT: Shut up and listen

I remember going to an Acoustic Charlottesville showcase at Starr Hill a few years back and being very frustrated with the audience. I don't remember who had taken the stage, but I do remember wanting to strangle the crowd for talking loudly while s/he played an oh-so-delicate tune on the guitar. I pretty much felt the same way about the Acoustic Groove Trio, the opening act at Starr Hill last Saturday, December 10.

A certain amount of respect should be given to a performing artist, no matter how good or bad. In this case, Acoustic Groove Trio was far from bad. As a matter of fact, if bad was located on Pantops, the Trio could be found chilling near Dr. Ho's off 29 South with a slice of pepperoni.

I'm trying to say that here we have three dudes who are without doubt extremely talented. The lead singer plays guitar with back-up vocals from a percussionist and fretless acoustic bass player. They write soulful ballads that deserved the crowd's full attention.

Here I am listening to my future bedroom theme music, imagining myself atop a mound of recently deflowered virgins with a Superman cape...

When all of a sudden my daydream delusions are disrupted by John Doe Loudmouth talking about Bill O'Reilly. Listening to cornballs' neo-conservative commentary or imagining myself doing the Wilt Chamberlain in full-body spandex and cowl? Hmmm. What's my point?

My point is that Acoustic Groove Trio are a group worth watching. Better than that, they're a group worth paying attention to. So next time they're out and about, show face and show some respect for three serious artists delivering serious artistry.

The night turned from delicate to massive when Malice, Charlottesville's own GoGo band, took the stage and began house rocking. I've seen many GoGo bands in my day– all shapes and sizes, styles and colors– and I must say that Malice falls in the upper percentile.

GoGo is all about that infectious beat and the ability to pull the crowd in with chants and covers of popular songs. Malice kept the show high-energy and rocking.

Their chants were never bothersome, and they executed changes accurately. With two 200-pound frontmen at the center, they definitely had a stage presence you couldn't ignore.

I would have preferred to hear one or two massive covers in their set just to bring in audience members unsure of what to do. But hey, who am I to complain? Especially since I was rocking to real GoGo at SHMH. That in itself was good for me.

Last was the ever-impressive ensemble, The Hamiltons. The Hamiltons are like gouda... they get more funky as time passes.

If any group represents the heart and soul of this town, it's The Hamiltons, with a completely original sound– and, like Acoustic Groove Trio, worth paying attention to.

I've written about the Hamiltons many times. Honestly, I can't write about them enough. However, I'm not quite sure what else to say. Especially after hearing their cover of Sade's "No Ordinary Love." I'm speechless.