by Andrew Crisp
Idaho Falls natives Nurses, who relocated to Portland, Ore., played a Ida-homecoming show at the Neurolux on Friday, Jan. 13. But despite the date, the evening wasn't full of horrifying performances.
Storie Grubb and the Holy Wars may have been a bit too avant garde for the Neurolux crowd, netting ho-hum response from the audience despite a well-crafted and catchy set. The band's stage presence included costumes and a dedication to its uptempo, folk-rock sound, but as is common at The Lux, the message was lost in the din of casual conversation.
La Fleur's set was much more lively, but it was clear that the bar's patrons were awaiting Nurses' ascendancy to the stage.
The trio—comprised of John Bowers, Aaron Chapman and James Mitchell—sipped beers in a corner booth as they waited to play their set. While a dedicated portion of the audience jostled around the stage throughout the evening, the number of groundlings swelled once Nurses went on.
The band's launch into "So Sweet" was every bit its namesake, with Chapman's crooning balancing the ethereal track behind it. The jams were spacey and a bit dulling to the senses, given the volume emanating from the stage. The noise jived with keyboardist John Bowers' loud sweater, a strong candidate for the Grand Prize Winner of all ugly sweater contests.
When all the pieces of its sound come together, Nurses is a different band live than it is recorded. This fact seemed to throw off the Neurolux crowd, as evidenced by their trepidation about whether they should stand near the stage or sit at the assorted tables and booths. It's not music you can dance to, and perhaps might've fared better at a more intimate venue, where listeners could pick out each song's eccentricities.