It was too bright in the bar during the Friday afternoon show of the Savannah Stopover Festival on March 9, but as it turned out, local band Hot Plate wouldn’t need the light show they had orchestrated to coincide with their performance; their music more than spoke for itself.
Part garage rock, part experimental punk fusion, Hot Plate’s mostly instrumental set was as indefinable as it was enjoyable, an inspired mish-mash of sounds that left audience members begging for an encore.
And for all of their mystique, the as yet little-known Hot Plate showcases a few familiar faces; sequential arts alumnus Elgin Braden rocked out on the bass, while sound design alumnus Robert E. Melton supported lead vocalist Aaron Givens on the left guitar.
And while Elgin’s talent as an illustrator hasn’t necessarily lent itself to his capacity as a musician, his undeniably unique perspective permeates every aspect of the band’s stage presence, from their usual lighting-effects to their quirky use of display props.
But listeners needn’t be distracted from the main attraction: heady guitar riffs, serious melodies and a relentless drummer in Patrick Hussey, who coheres a symphony of inspired sounds.
“Do The Math” was the only song of the set that incorporated sung lyrics, and Givens made an impressive debut as the band’s front man and lead vocalist with impressive range and tonality.Magdalena Bresson.