Frank’s Power Plant is a small, unassuming venue that hosts lots of great, local Milwaukee bands. With a distinctive name hard to forget and a centralized location in Bay View, Frank’s is a hidden gem. The stage and viewing area isn’t big but the sound is good and the drinks are cheap and who can argue with that? I’ve never not had a fun time and last night did not break that trend, featuring friends’ bands Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band and Shoot Down the Moon, two bands dissimilar in sound but not in talent or energy. Earlier in the night, DW of DW & Co. played a solo set and Slander Cannon performed as well. Unfortunately, we arrived late and only caught the majority of Myles’ set and all of Shoot Down the Moon.
As I’m sure you’ve guessed, Myles Coyne is the frontman of the Rusty Nickel Band and perfectly fits the role. A veritable force in Milwaukee’s music scene, Myles is everywhere around town, whether playing a show or attending in the audience. His other band, Animals in Human Attire is more alternative-rock than the Rusty Nickel with its sound that runs the gamut from folk to bluesgrass to rock but Myles’ energy is the same. The show last night was a great mix of old and new, slow and fast, a true representation of their eclectic style. Two of their band members, including their bassist (Chris Thunder and Justin Miller) were not able to make the show last night but the rest of the band carried on without them. Jack Tell was on acoustic and electric guitar and lap steel, Caley Conway on backup vocals (and one song on lead vocals) and xylophone and Tim Stone on drums. And of course Myles on lead vocal and his guitar set high on his chest, constantly keeping the crowd entertained with his exuberance on stage and banter in between songs. This is obviously a multi-talented group with many instruments and surprises up their sleeve. Their folky sound is reminiscent of Bob Dylan at times and Bright Eyes at other times. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, I highly suggest that you catch a show soon, it’s quite a treat. Download all The Rusty Nickel Band’s releases for free at mylescoyne.bandcamp.com.
The headliner of the night was Shoot Down the Moon, a band I’ve seen many a time with a unique alternative rock style that blends classic rock with experimental jams and the occasional folk-tinged tune. They cranked up the sound level and mood of the night with their loud but not too loud, big but not too big sound. Last night’s crowd had unfortunately dwindled a bit towards the end but those left couldn’t help but sing along, dance and head bang from the first note to the last. The band is comprised of Jake McDonald and Matt “Fizz” Flanagan who both sing lead vocals and play electric guitar, Jon Taglienti on bass, Justin “Hippie” Cohen on electric guitar and Zak Ihlenfeld on drums. Three guitarists can be a gamble and sometimes a mess but not here. Jake, Fizz and Justin all contribute a different layer of sound and don’t step on each other’s toes. Last night’s set ended too early as it was but a malfunction halfway through could’ve made it even shorter when Justin’s amp broke. Luckily, Jack Tell had stuck around for their set and was more than happy to contribute his amp so the show could go on. The transition was quick, taking only half a song before Justin was back up and running, another sign of the band’s experience as musicians. Friends since childhood, they’ve all played together for years and the bond carries over to their music. Extremely talented individually, as a whole, they are a force to be reckoned with, only seeming to get tighter and tighter with each performance. With a new album in the works and many shows coming up in the near future, I personally can’t wait to see what they bring to the table next. Go to shootdownthemoon.bandcamp.com to download their last full length album “Swollen Teeth” for only $2.50 and their Live on WUWM session for free, which includes three songs that will be on the new album to be released this summer. Shoot Down the Moon’s next show is Thursday, May 10th at Yield for the YouphoriClothing Kickstarter party, check out the details here. They’ll be playing two sets, one at the beginning and one at the end of the night so you have no excuse not to be there!