In many cases, when a band makes a local reference on stage, it comes off as pandering to the audience.
That didn't seem to be the case at The CoolTV Rock Stage Tuesday afternoon at Summerfest.
When Pan Am singer Steve Lundy dedicated a song to the Brewers, it wasn't necessarily a ploy to win fans and influence the indifferent. It felt more like a tribute to team owner Mark Attanasio, whose oldest son, Dan, is Pan Am's bass player.
Mark Attanasio was in the crowd, watching Pan Am play a 45-minute set of jangly original songs that echoed groups like Franz Ferdinand, the Killers and -- perhaps most notably -- Madison natives Locksley.
Locksley, which now operates out of Brooklyn, visited the Summerfest grounds during the recent Verge Music Festival. Locksley features a brother combo (Jesse and Jordan Laz), just as Steven Lundy is joined by his brother, Gary (guitar) in Pan Am.
Like many brother acts, the Lundys seemed to mesh their harmonies effortlessly. The group, which has visited Summerfest before, created some interesting moments. The song "Equalizing the Sun" had some intriguing turns of phrase and "Red Coats" shifted between a British Invasion feel and a bit of Stray Cats vocal phrasing.
While some of the lyrics seemed a bit pedestrian ("Take it or break it, just don't fake it"), Pan Am's songs were more than solid enough to hold the audience's attention on a cool afternoon. Several of the band's quick-hitting songs ended abruptly, which is a good indicator of a band's tightness/cohesion, but they also felt unfinished -- like they needed another verse.
Later in the set, the band tapped some lilting country and jumping rockabilly veins that could merit further exploration.
In terms of stage presence, the band may have been a bit awed by its surroundings (hardly a rare occurrence for young groups at the World's Largest Music Festival).
Lundy, a strong vocal presence whose style would seem at home on many FM ra…Read more...