Visible Sin: Live and Loud
26Aug
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Show Review: GEMINI SYNDROME at Juanita’s [8.25.15]

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Perseverance in the Face of Obstacles

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Gemini Syndrome recently kicked off a small run of dates leading up to their August 28th tour kickoff with Avatar at the Machine Shop in Flint, MI. The band recently underwent some lineup changes, and these are the first few shows with the new additions to the stage. Their Little Rock stop at Juanita’s was one of the “warmup” shows on the way to the big tour.

To me, what sets a band apart from the pack and earns my respect, is how they handle less than ideal situations. I don’t recall a huge amount of promotion for the show in days leading up to it, so I wasn’t sure how the crowd was going to be. When I got to Juanita’s, I realized that this had the potential to be a very low-key show. I got there 30 minutes after doors, and wondered if I’d possibly gotten the date wrong for the show. The website said the show was at 8pm, but it got rolling closer to 8:45. No openers; it was just Gemini Syndrome. Once the show started, singer Aaron Nordstrom and crew hit the stage full-force, with enough intensity for a venue at capacity, instead of the more intimate gathering present at Juanita’s.

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Aaron Nordstrom

Side Note: Juanita’s recently underwent a(nother) change of ownership, and a recent Facebook post addressed the ongoing issue of the venue’s air conditioning not adequately cooling the room during a show. This seemed like a direct response to the suffocating heat throughout the entirety of Hellyeah’s recent stop at the club. There was not a lack of cool air at Gemini Syndrome, though the body count difference could have definitely contributed to the “cool Arctic breeze” flowing through Juanita’s on a late-August Southern summer night.

Gemini Syndrome’s 11-song setlist was solid from start to finish; giving ample opportunity for the new guitarists to lock down their ends of the stage. The musicianship in the band was solid, and vocalist Nordstrom has both a commanding stage presence and a strong voice. The band members are all extremely energetic onstage, which not only made for a fun experience, it kept me extremely busy, trying to change my camera settings fast enough to get some great photos! Challenge accepted. 😉

The band closed out their set with their hit “Stardust,” which broke out the room into a singalong. …Including me. I love that song. Afterwards, the band members did make a point to stop and say hello to those in attendance. New guitarist Christopher Babbitt said that he was a very recent addition to the tour, but watching him onstage? I never would’ve known. He looked like he was having an absolute blast up there.

The only downside of the evening happened when some of the younger audience members took advantage of the available floorspace and started running at each other, full-speed. I loathe those “circle pit” whatever things. Seriously. What happened to connecting with the moment, when a song you love is being played right in front of you? When did that turn into wildly slamming into nearby people, just because…they’re there? I go to a lot of concerts (no, really…A LOT of them), and if I have to stop watching who I’m there to see, and turn around and watch YOU instead? My withering side-eye: Let me show you it.
Also? Get off my lawn.

Gemini Syndrome at Juanita’s: Small crowd, big sound, great night.

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