Friday night was one of those nights when it feels like a privilege to live around these parts. In one club on downtown Raleigh's Blount Street, you had the second annual Raleigh Undercover tribute-act festival going on; and just a few doors down, you had two of the best bands in this or any other town.
As to the latter, that was Megafaun and Rosebuds, who were both in fantastic form. Rosebuds were playing their first hometown show since an overseas tour that included dates in China, and the work has tightened them up to well-oiled-machine status. And Megafaun was as wonderful as always, showing an admirable willingness to jack with their own songs to see where it takes 'em. "The Fade," transposed from jingle-jangle pure-pop to a steady rolling groove that loped along, was particularly cool.
Meanwhile, Raleigh Undercover was likewise a ton of fun, with George Harrison (by Tomahawks), Velvet Underground (The Old Ceremony) and David Bowie among those covered Friday night. Bright Young Things' rendition of glam-period Bowie was truly spectacular, perfectly conjured down to the last detail. I felt bad for The Old Ceremony, having to follow that, but they acquitted themselves well. Both shows were packed, with great energy up and down the street, and not just because all the smokers had to stand outside to get their nicotine fix (yay for the new no-smoking law!).
Lucky you, this is happening again Saturday night at both clubs -- the final night of Raleigh Undercover, plus another Rosebuds/Megafaun show (with Hammer No More the Fingers also sweetening the bill). The latter is sold out, but it might be possible to charm your way in if you hang around and show a little patience. Besides, Raleigh Undercover is only five bucks, which means you've got a perfect backup plan in place.
So head on down. It's worth braving the cold.