Saturday, March 14, Mickey’s Tavern, 10 p.m., free. Info
Photo by DJ Hostettler.
While Hex House and Conan Neutron And The Secret Friends will undoubtedly make the trip out to Mickey’s Tavern this Saturday worthwhile, it’d be difficult to overlook the draw of Oshkosh/Madison band Bron Sage’s re-emergence. A mainstay of the Fox Valley circuit from about 2012 to 2015, the band made a sizable impression before taking a long break. Last month, the band returned with a show in Oshkosh, revamped. Gone were the horns, once a distinct signifier of the band, and suddenly present was a newly galvanized emphasis on teeth-gnashing, off-kilter heaviness.
Members of Bron Sage took up various projects during the band’s four-year hiatus, including the likes of Madison-based bands Twelves, Black Cat, and Three Hours. Over that time, it seems as though those projects have ingrained an even deeper affinity for abstract ideas and structures. Bron Sage always had a math-y bent but it’s been escalated in their current iteration, which retains four of the group’s original members. Adding to the impact of that decision is the pared down running time of individual songs, which see the band opting to maximize a curious mode of aggression.
Emphasizing Bron Sage’s slight but significant stylistic shift is an entirely new set that sees the band discarding their past work in favor of some newfound momentum. During their hiatus, the band would convene for “experiment sessions” and comb through those sessions to shape their new songs and tweak their overall sound. Exacting and effectively tense, the decisions the band have made in their time away have brought them to another level. To see and hear what that level looks like, make it to the show on time. Bron Sage opens a night that’s shaping up to be more than a little memorable.