With diverse Florida support in tow, Slingshot Dakota burst hearts in Orlando show

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Slingshot Dakota at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Slingshot Dakota at Will's Pub
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Dikembe, Slingshot Dakota, Curtains and Expert Timing at Will’s Pub, Jan. 8

Although the lone non-Floridian act on this Bad Balloon bill, irrepressible Pennsylvania couple act Slingshot Dakota are no strangers to Orlando. Besides their setup as a keyboard-and-drums duo, they’re notable for an approach to emotional rock that pushes overtly pretty melodies with pronounced sonic heft. They’re less about being cool or clever than they are about unleashing heart with as much brio and scale as a two-piece can muster. And as their theatrical flair would suggest, they go for it with total abandon. With these two, it’s epic or bust.



Slingshot Dakota at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Slingshot Dakota at Will's Pub
Slingshot Dakota at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Slingshot Dakota at Will's Pub
While drummer Tom Patterson bangs it out like he’s rocking an arena, the panoramic keyboards of Carly Comando push both the soaring melodies and the groaning, propulsive low end. Add in a climactic flair and pure joy for what they’re doing and you’ve got a display of unmitigated emotional grandeur.

Dikembe at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Dikembe at Will's Pub
Gainesville’s Dikembe are no basic emo band. For one, they’re serious emo, not that syrupy commercial stuff. Moreover, their sound is complex and nuanced. It’s openly feeling music, no doubt, but it can also be heavy, explosive and brooding. It’s a tack that shows as much musical ideas as emotion. And it allows them to trace the heart without resorting to wallowing self-indulgence.

Dikembe at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Dikembe at Will's Pub
Curtains are an all-star local group whose collective résumé includes canonical Orlando bands like Shyster, the New Lows, the Spitvalves and Telephone. While those acts represent a wide spectrum, this one’s a very straight shot down the punk barrel. It’s tight, classic hardcore geared for pure velocity, the kind that’s built to be cranked on a cassette boombox from the deck of a half-pipe.



Curtains at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Curtains at Will's Pub
Curtains at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Curtains at Will's Pub
And local indie-rock trio Expert Timing continue to impress.
With their guileless sweetness and hugging hooks, this band is churning out some of the loveliest songs in town right now.

Expert Timing at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Expert Timing at Will's Pub
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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