Second quadrennial event is a hit!
“Amy, I can’t believe you dragged me to this, I don’t even like live music!” my friend, who we’ll call Steph, said as we entered the Study for Loopy Leap Year — a show featuring Jean-Paul DeRoover and special guests Ocean City Defender, Jamie Smith of the Auditor General, and Illusions from the Bates Brothers.
MC Kyle Lees opened the night by welcoming the crowd and encouraging us to begin making paper hats with provided copies of The Argus and instructions. He introduced the first act of the night, Ocean City Defender.
Ocean City Defender is a one-man band; its sole member is K. Preston Merkley.
When I say one-man band I truly mean it: Ocean City Defender creates lush synth-pop songs on stage to give a full, complex sound rather than a simple one-instrument experience.
Ocean City Defender entertained the crowd, playing selections from his recently released EP The Golden Hour.
Loopy Leap Year also coincided with the fourth anniversary of the Auditor General’s first show at the first loopy leap year.
The whole band wasn’t present this particular evening, but Smith provided a gentle guitar interlude in sharp contrast with the synth-pop of the previous act.
His clear singing voice and room-filling guitar songs won my friend over and convinced her to stay for the remainder of the show.
At one point, Steph commented, “I find myself attracted to him. I never like musicians!” Clearly, Smith managed to win over the audience.
The Bates Brothers performed five illusions to the audience’s delight and confusion. I even got to go on stage to take part in a floating table trick.
Finishing up the night with his amazing live looping stylings, DeRoover brought the audience to their feet at the show’s close.
He began his set in a red onesie and a paper hat, later changing costume in great style to a more regular outfit of t-shirt and pants.
Photo by Amy Szybalski/ARGUS