Review: Heatwarmer Is Hot 

When Heatwarmer is onstage the audience is in the band's world--and it's a world with a core built on Pink Floyd space rock and the classic guitar riffs of Led Zeppelin.

A coffee- and beer-fueled crowd was in the Seattle-based experimental pop band's orbit at The Crux on Oct. 4, taking in those epic Floyd-Zeppelin-inspired sounds with assistance from openers Interstate.

The local alt-rockers paved the way for Heatwarmer with a set blending the emotional tone of Death Cab for Cutie with the piano and soft guitar licks of The Fray. It was a fine aperitif ahead of the main course, which featured those rollicking, space-y rock lines with the surprise addition of an electric clarinet that evokes images of Jimmy Page writing the Rugrats theme song.

Lead singer Luke Bergman, who studied bass and jazz at the University of Washington School of Music, has a vocal style reminiscent of Ben Folds, lending a smooth quality to the band's trippy sound.

Heatwarmer is on the verge of something beyond progressive; its members clearly appreciate classic rock and interesting time signatures. Put it all together, and it's a band that's not afraid to take a risk and have fun--and that includes the priceless ability to perform not simply for an audience, but for the sake of the music.

There's no denying that Bergman--along with bandmates Kristian Garrard, Aaron Otheim, Andrew J.S. and Evan Woodle--is an innovator, going beyond the merriment of a carnival and including jazz-influenced transcendental moves and esoteric sounds. Heatwarmer is not only good, it's inventive. And it does more than put on a show, it delivers an experience.

Miss the show in Boise? Heatwarmer recently released its debut, self-titled LP, available for purchase online at heatwarmer.bandcamp.com.

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