Photo by Alex Lunsford.

On the Friday of Feb. 17, Goodyear Arts in uptown opened up their space for four bands to play a show free of any charge. Sam the Lion, Cuzco, Ghost Trees and Don Telling’s Island Mysteries put a spin on how they performed that night. Rather than each band playing a full set with the next band preceding for an additional full set as well, they incorporated an “in the round” concept.

The four bands were simultaneously set up against the four walls of Goodyear Arts. The audience stood in the middle. They alternated songs throughout the show, while also slowly blending the sounds. This generated a 360 degree listening experience with the crowning point being the ultimate quadraphonic composition. This was the closing note.

All four bands are local to Charlotte and place a heavy emphasis on the instrumentals.

Sam the Lion is an indie pop band. With influences such as Mazzy Star, Portishead and Sea of Cortez, they have a very spacey sound to them, making it natural and even expected to lose your train of thought in the midst of listening.

Cuzco is a band exceptionally new to the music community in Charlotte with their EP, “A Medicine For Melancholy,” just being released on Jan. 28 of this year. Though, they have quite a buzz following them already. Making this album available for purchase only a few short weeks ago, they have already sold out of tangible copies of their music online. They also were Snug Harbor’s feature band for the December Residency, headlining shows every Wednesday of the month.

Photo by Alex Lunsford.

Ghost Trees is a post-bop free jazz band. Also having a big band feel to them, their Facebook states that their main goal is “to bring the fire back to jazz.” They are a duo act, comprised of Seth Nanaa on the drums and Brent Bagwell on the tenor saxophone. Nanaa and Bagwell played in previous band, The Eastern Seaboard, together for a whole decade before releasing their first music as Ghost Trees.

Don Telling’s Island Mysteries can be best described as Hawaiian, exotica and instrumental favorites. This band also includes Bagwell from Ghost Trees.

While Sam the Lion and Don Telling’s Islands Mysteries played, old films and various graphics were projected onto the expansive walls of the space. Not a single light was left on in the gallery making it pitch black. Therefore, the sole focus was on the projections that backlit the bands during their songs.

For Cuzco’s songs, the gallery remained dark besides the lamps placed around their instruments and the Christmas lights lining their feet. The gallery also remained dark for Ghost Trees while they used a couple spotlights, illuminating them and their instruments while they performed.

The spacious location of Goodyear Arts was nearly filled the entire night.

Links to bands’ available music are listed below.