The Power Of Three (Sheets)

Karen Ponzio PhotoThe number three has quite a legacy. They say the third time’s the charm. They also say three strikes and you’re out. Which way would it go as three bands celebrated the release of the New Haven-based Tall Tale’s EP at Three Sheets, on the third day of the third month?

First up to the Three Sheets stage on Elm Street was the New Haven-based Wolf Harbor, last seen by this reporter at this very venue, performing as part of a four-act acoustic show. On Saturday the four members — Bobby Dyckman on vocals and guitar, Jesse LaBranche also on vocals and guitar, Mike Voyce on bass, and Dom Gubernat on drums —
let loose with an almost nonstop punk-funk-rock jam session that started the night off right. Their youthful exuberance and ecstatic energy was infectious, even as they mentioned it was their second show in as many days and that things had been “pretty crazy.” They showed no signs of fatigue, though, as they got the crowd moving and cheering and kept moving along with them. After announcing that the band’s next song was called “Black Lung,” Dyckman added that Wolf Harbor would play through three more songs (that number again) until the end of their set, which they did to the delight of the ever-growing crowd.

Next up was The New Dirty, a trio (there you go) from Branford consisting of Paul Chasse on vocals and guitar, Eric Heibler on bass, and Joseph Shelfo on drums. Their set of sexy but never too showy hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll got the crowd moving and cheering even more, infusing the room with a swagger that was always fun and sometimes even a little thoughtful. When Chasse said that the band’s next song was about “the walk of shame, about making mistakes,” he also added that it’s “healthy — make all the mistakes you can.” Like Wolf Harbor, The New Dirty also never let up on its driving distinct sound, giving the packed room more than enough reason to move and groove along with them.

The final act of the night was the New Haven-based Tall Tale, a band made up of three (yep) former members of Rusty Things — Alex Murowsky on guitar and vocals, Zach Voytek on bass, and Tyler Addis in drums — and one member of Wolf Harbor, the aforementioned Jesse LaBranche on vocals and guitar.

Saturday marked the release day of Tall Tale’s EP So Long: The Prelude. It was also the band’s first live show. Tall Tale combined the best parts of the first two bands to deliver a sweet and funky rock jam session infused with enough punk and power to make the crowd eager for more, as the new group played songs not only from the EP, but other songs, it was announced, soon to be on another new recording. LaBranche seemed to have the power of three men himself as he continued through a second set of music with not one sign of less enthusiasm or vigor.

I could get into even more references to the number three that occurred throughout the night. (I took three pages of notes; I found my parking spot on the third try; I spoke with three members of the band Ryxno.) But I think you get the picture by now. On Saturday, three proved to be a pretty powerful number.

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