|Photo compliments of Josie McQueen. From left to right, Matt, Aaron, Jesse and Jon.|
At the end of December I joined a couple friends to check out Josie McQueen for the first time at Altar Bar. Which oddly enough, I had never been to, but is a really great space especially as a music venue. I'm a big fan of the Pittsburgh trend of turning old churches into bars, it gives them all a fantastic vibe and we might as well be using these great spaces for something! Anyway, I had only heard of Josie McQueen through a friend and was practically begged to go so the band could have a good turnout for their first headlining show. And since I'm never one to turn down a reason to go out on a Friday night or to not show some support for local music, it was pretty much a guarantee that I'd make my way there. I'm really glad I did.
Josie McQueen is easily the best up and coming band in Pittsburgh right now. Hands down. Coming from someone who is all over the board when it comes to music and has every genre listed in my iTunes account, these guys are crazy talented. Their lead singer, Aaron Duda, sounded similar to Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria, which is some form of higher angel that I wouldn't mind listening to all day, while Matt Cooper, Josie's bassist, is quite possibly the most active bass player I've ever seen and jumped around every inch of stage. This four man band is glued together by a sick and steady beat of drummer, Jon Willard, and brought over the edge by lead guitarist, Jesse Weygandt who was not only a little guitar god but had the most epic beard of all time. Again, if you know anything about me, you know how much I appreciate some quality facial hair. Jesse's hand was also bleeding like a beast while playing the show which always makes me want to give someone more props.
So now that I've talked them up, judge for yourself and have a listen. And as always, support local music.