Akron/Family | Live preview | David Malitz

you never know when you'll have your mind blown

     The first (and only) time David saw Akron/Family was Dec. 8, 2005. Why does he remember the specific date for a random concert? Because -- and sorry to get all Zach Braff on you -- more than any other show over the past few years, that one changed his life the most. Here's why: It wasn't necessarily the best show I've seen during that stretch, although it certainly was great. It was more the circumstances surrounding it. It was a Thursday night, the forecast was calling for snow, it was a band I was into, but not all that much. Still, I felt some pull to go see this show, to support a good band that I hadn't seen before on a night when there clearly wasn't going to be much of a crowd. So I went to Iota and was rewarded with one of the most unique performances I've ever seen. The band certainly didn't care that there were maybe 30 people in attendance. It went about its business as it normally would, playing a two-hour-plus set that veered all over the map from instrument-free four-part singalongs in the middle of the audience to psychedelic noise freakouts that extended past the 10-minute mark. The band's album didn't prepare me for that second half of that equation. I was expecting mostly gentle, back-porch folk with some experimental undertones, not the second coming of Blue Cheer. It was an awesome show and it served as inspiration to check out more unknown, somewhat obscure bands on a regular basis, because you never know when you'll have your mind blown. Tonight the Family has a much more high-profile show at the Rock and Roll Hotel. Opener Kitty Hawk flies under the radar in the Federal Reserve collective, but it might just be the best of the batch, with fragile indie-folk songs that exude that most intangible of musical qualities -- honesty. Deleted Scenes rounds out the bill.