Live Show Review

Boise is a fast-growing metropolis to be sure--we just haven't yet achieved big city mentality. As a result, we have to suffer a lot of musician-wannabees who do little more than scream into a microphone and bang their greasy-haired heads.

There is hope, however. Meet the band that slapped me right in my cynical face. They're a Boise-based group of three guys known as Automated. I heard about them on (yeah, I succumbed to the pressure) They had a free show at Joltz Internet Cafe in Meridian, so I thought, "what the hell?" If nothing else, I'll get an iced mocha and a chat with my good friend Vanessa (who thought Automated was amazing, by the way.) And it was to be their debut performance. It would prove interesting.

Round 1: Joltz (Wednesday, April 26)

Due to technical difficulties, the show started 45 minutes late. Bryant, the lead singer, broke the ice by playing a solo acoustic piece. He has an impressive voice and we were all disappointed when the song abruptly ended to the discordant twang of a broken guitar string.

Automated played five songs, all surprisingly distinctive and gripping. They looked a little frightened of our beady, caffeine-buzzed eyes as we peered at them in silence--it's tough getting that rock-n-roll groove in a coffeehouse setting. Although the group has only been together for two months, they have a surprisingly mature sound.

Their clarity both on CD and on stage is outstanding, Despite their amateur stage status, they have presence. Like seeing Brad Pitt in a man-thong. Sure, it's wrong, but dammit, he looks good.

Round 2: The Venue (Friday, April 28)

The Venue put on a little something different the following Friday with an indie-rock gig to encourage and showcase a niche music scene. I was eager to see Automated play for a bigger crowd in an amped-up environment. Their five-song set remained the same, but the performance had a whole new aura.

They exuded such a great new level of confidence and energy. Automated's unique indie-tronic sound is electric and inspiring. Their music strikes a powerful chord--that spine-tingling excitement of witnessing the beginning of something big. They are a reminder that even in a community somtimes lean in cutting-edge creativity, there are occasional bits of brilliance. Keep an eye out for their upcoming CD Safe and Sorry, scheduled for release this summer. In the meantime, check them out at

--Alyssa Cromwell

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