In a city that is inundated with incredible musicians, the band Window Cat pops like a pair of 1984 Air Jordan’s. They’re original. They’re innovative. And they have all the right curves in all the right places. Friday night, with the impeccable sound of Isis Music Hall as the venue, their full symphonic arsenal was on display.
Billed as neo-soul, Window Cat is doing things that no other band in Asheville is doing. Blending elements of jazz, rap, rock, hip-hop, and funk with spoken word, they manage to create something that sounds entirely new. They’re a seven-piece tour-de-force that clearly couldn’t care less about genre. They’re out to make the best music they can. Attempt to pigeonhole them at your own risk.
Perhaps this is why, for a band that has been together less than 21 months, there were more than 200 people at this show.
After a brief introduction from host Gregory Scott, the band took the stage to thunderous applause and high expectations. Even from the first notes, it’s clear that they don’t intend to disappoint.
The chemistry they share is transcendent. Each musician is fully engrossed in playing their own instrument and yet, somehow, without sight or signal, completely tuned in to the other musicians in the band. By the time they get to one of their “hits” (yes, in 21 months they already have multiple) “Agent Orange,” the crowd has already completely suspended all disbelief. We are in this. We are engaged.
They plow through the set like an Abrams tank, powerful and surprisingly nimble. There is no standing still. There is no feeling sorry for yourself. There is only positivity. Positivity and exceedingly good music.
After a particularly mind-numbing version of “Ergo” (from their May release Land On Your Feet), they find themselves winding down. They wrap it up strong with, perhaps my favorite, “The Predicament.”
In a testament to just how much fun this crowd is having, Window Cat is serenaded with chants of “five more songs.” While unable to oblige the mob with multiple tunes, they come back out with a true game-winner of an encore, “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child.
Walking to the car, I find that the only thing I can do in response to what I just saw, is giggle like a schoolgirl.
Caleb Calhoun studied writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and music at a plethora of clubs and bars across the southeast. He is the host of Soundcheck Radio (Thursday’s 3-5 on 103.7 WPVM) and Soundcheck AVL and the publisher of Rosman City Blues. He currently lives on South Slope with his woodland mermaid, Dr. Gonzo.
You can reach him at email@example.com and/or Facebook.com/SoundcheckAVL