Published May 25, 2019During Renders' night-opening set at Club One, songwriter Kelly McMichael treated early arrivers to a succinct history lesson on 30 years of pop-rock music: there were folksy harmonies that wafted out of Laurel Canyon in the '70s, danceable synth-funk that was pure '80s, and catchy alt-rock from your favourite Big Shiny Tunes comp from the '90s.
It was all executed perfected, thanks in large part to McMichael's backing musicians and their impeccable four-part harmonies. Bassist Sarah Harris's playing was bouncy and gratifyingly high in the mix, and the slithering low-end of "She's Badass" gave the song its funky disco pulse. The addition of a sax for the final song pushed things in a smooth soul direction à la classic Hall & Oates. The genre agnosticism kept the set unpredictable, while the pared-down instrumental setup allowed the melodies to shine.
The performance was low-key and the banter was minimal, but the catchy tunes were enough to leave an impression. McMichael explained that Renders are in the process of working on an album — if this show was any indication, it will be one to look out for.