Mike DeCicco, frontman for both The Daring Few and Musica Obscura, is a music workaholic: Rarely will you see just one DeCicco project on a bill. He likes it that way, though; the audience gets to see his various musical personas, and the setup between bands is brief. He also seems to get high off the sheer exertion of performing in two bands back to back.
To kick off the double DeCicco madness, Mission Statement began with a long instrumental intro, and then moved into a more early-emo realm, kind of like Sunny Day Real Estate. The songs all veered away from the traditional verse-chorus-verse formula, with melodic interplay between the guitar, bass and drums, but the second-to-last song with its thick, fuzzy bassline was the band at its best. Not bad for the only band of the night to not have DeCicco as a member.
Musica Obscura, usually just DeCicco and his various electronic gadgets, for this show was a trio, with Justin Miller on drums and Wes McCanse on guitar. Having more people on stage alone kicked up the energy; unless you have your shoes nailed to the floor, it's difficult to not dance to live drums on top of drum machines. Musica Obscura's house blend is electronica, pop and lingering heartbreak, and the added layer of McCanse's guitar made the already polished songs sparkle.
To segue into The Daring Few's set, Musica Obscura played a calmer, slinkier version of "Rebecca," normally a Daring Few song, and all three musicians onstage were grinning and ready to do it all again, only as The Daring Few ... who, by comparison, seemed lackluster. Even with the talented lineup--Miller on drums, McCanse on lead guitar, Samir Shehab on rhythm guitar and Chris Morrison on bass--the songs didn't seem as tight or punchy. Certain Daring Few songs are always as catchy and gritty as one can get without turning into an Interpol knockoff band, like "More I Want You," and with his button-pushing and knob-turning duties diminished, DeCicco was free to cavort around the stage and make dramatic faces, which is always entertaining. But by the end of the night, the line between both bands was blurry. Maybe it's not such a good idea after all to bill both bands together, if one starts to overshadow the other.