Moods goes to 11

Occasionally, a concert bill can catch an audience’s attention because it offers the chance to see, say, three or four really good area punk bands in one place, an evening of solid metal or brilliant singer-songwriters. There are venues that specialize in each of those genres, but there are also places to play that try to do it all. Old Sacramento’s Moods is one such place, bringing in everything from singer-songwriters to metal bands to stand-up comedians. It’s a strange way to book a club, but at least there’s some Old Sacramento alternative to DJ-dance nights.

Longtime music fans might recognize Moods by its old name: Scratch 8. The venue has been cleaned up and is a relatively nice room. Located down in the lower level of Old Sacramento at 120 I Street, Moods features a smokers patio and a short but broad stage area for bands.

Last weekend, a dozen or so fans were treated to an evening of metal by Captiv8, Gnosis, Isolate and Liquid Conscience. Unfortunately, much of the music seemed redundant and absurd, particularly the music of Isolate, a band that grew increasingly louder during its set—a particular mark of an inexperienced band. Even Moods’ booker and bartender commented, “A good band knows how to play to the room.” Point taken: Isolate wasn’t a good band.

Doing a much better job was Gnosis. Though not particularly groundbreaking, the band at least provided some sense of stage presence and actually appeared to be interested in its own music. One would think this would be a given, particularly within the context of high-energy music like metal, but apparently this is not always the case. Musically, the band may have been somewhat ordinary in terms of songwriting and arrangements, but that is at least partially compensated for by its animated singer and guitarist. Seeing Gnosis in a larger venue with professional lighting and sound, such as The Boardwalk, might provide for an interesting night out.

Boohoo to the youth: Capitol Garage has reported that it has changed its all-ages policy; all Capitol Garage shows are now 18 and over. That’s bad news for the younger crowd. One hopes that once the Garage moves to its new location, it will be able to accept all ages once again.

Davis-based world-beat outfit !Akimbo doesn’t play live very often these days, but it will be performing on February 21 at the Tangle River Festival at the Crest Theatre. The show will benefit the Environmental Council of Sacramento. !Akimbo will be performing two slots—the first from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the second from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Acoustic math-rock act Nice Monster will perform from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Check out for more information.

Blues fans take note: The second annual “Blues for the Heart” benefit concert will be held on February 29 at the Torch Club, 904 15th Street, and will run from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The lineup will feature Jimmy Pailer and Lew Fratis Electric Band with Stacie Eakes, Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers, Midtown Creepers, G.G. Amos, Pamela Rose and the Beer Dawgs. If that’s not enough to get you there, Chef Hef will be cookin’ up the barbecue.