Featured photo: Victoria Victoria performed at the Ramkat for their ‘Home Sweet Home’ series recently (screenshot)
The stage lights at the Ramkat radiate shades of red and blue behind indie-pop band Victoria Victoria as they perform their song “What to Do.”
The NC-based band was the featured act during the 28th episode of “Home Sweet Home: Live at the Ramkat”, an ongoing effort since April 27 by the Ramkat bar and live music venue to provide entertainment to the community through pre-recorded musical performances since closing on March 19. The acts are livestreamed through the venue’s Facebook page and can be viewed later on YouTube.
“The emphasis in terms of starting this series was really just trying to fulfill the mission of the Ramkat by providing entertainment,” says Andy Tennille, partner at the Ramkat. “And also providing an opportunity for local musicians to get their music out in a high-quality way.”
Each performance is filmed in 1080p HD and edited by Tennille who is also a photographer. All audio is mixed by sound engineer Brian Doub, and lighting engineer Michael Schmid provides the light show for the musicians.
Victoria Victoria’s set was marked with a mixture of mellow melodies and high-energy songs including “Ivy”and “Roots Run Deep.” “What to Do” was upbeat despite the sadness felt by the song’s subject as they struggled to deal with the important things in life slipping away.
“All my minds are making up and moving on without me,” sings Tori Elliott, a singer-songwriter from Chillicothe, Ohio who fronts Victoria Victoria.
The ruffled hem of Elliott’s pale pink dress swayed to the rhythm of each song, contrasting the stillness of the bright orange monarch butterflies in her hair.
A set of drums, two electric guitars and a keyboard created the head-bobbing tunes by Victoria Victoria during the set. A jazzy element was infused in “Ivy”, which was decorated with short bursts of saxophone solos.
According to Tennille, the crew at the Ramkat sought a way to still be able to provide entertainment to its regulars by reaching out to acts who had already performed at the Ramkat and some potential new ones. After the holidays, they’ll be meeting up to film more episodes that should run in the spring.
In addition to ‘Home Sweet Home,’ the Ramkat is offering music documentaries to rent for streaming and until Dec. 4, May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers, will be available to purchase. May It Last offers an in-depth look at folk rock band’s collaboration with producer Rick Rubin as they created their album True Sadness, which would be nominated for Best Americana Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. The song from the album, “Ain’t No Man,” was nominated for Best American Roots Performance.
Tenille says comparing in-person performances and virtual performances at the Ramkat is like “comparing apples to kiwis.” The Ramkat emphasizes enjoying live entertainment as a group, so the change to virtual has been extremely different, Tennille says.
“Those performances rely on the energy exchange between the artist on stage and the audience in front of them,” says Tennille. “The virtual performance with no audience in attendance, it’s almost the exact opposite.”
Still, they aim to provide somewhat the same pleasant experience a visitor would get actually visiting in person.
“The standard by which we have booked the room and curated the room in the two years prior to the pandemic happening last March, we hold ourselves for the ‘Home Sweet Home’ series to the same high standard,” he says. “When people tune in on Sunday night at 8 o’clock, we want to try and transport viewers to make it feel like they’re standing on the floor of the Ramkat watching the band or artist perform.”