Opening with punchy fan favorite “Come Down”, they may have only played nine songs tonight, but that’s at least one more than their usual set. And nearly each sounds as strong as a single… well, with the exception of perhaps that ol’ tune “Duchess”, originally by some little UK act called the Stranglers. Wink, wink. NYC’s Moto: Rosa have a highly-intoxicating urgency and a way of weaving melody and dissonance as if it’s a lost art. Singer/guitarist Chris David never overplays, while guitarist Scott Irvine’s parts add texture and a jaunty pop contrast to David’s leaner, mean and stark strums.

It’s also refreshing to see a local band with a girl bassist, they seem so few and far between these days. (I can count them on one hand, the only other one coming to mind at the moment is in the band Muggabears). Bassist Lynnae Savage, hanging back by stage left in a shimmering black dress, is cool and steady, the ultra-feminine contrast to drummer Nick Ferrante and his testosterone-fueled, savage drumming.

It’s not surprising that Moto:Rosa has been favorably likened to bands ranging from My Bloody Valentine and Ride to Smashing Pumpkins and Chameleons. Their songs have a dark strut and swagger that plays along so well to the light of their perfect pop side. Seeing is believing. —Simon Harding/photo by Kelly Starbuck