The Garden Review

On Friday, April 13th, the relatively niche indie rock band The Garden found its way to The Shelter in Detroit. It’s small, dirty, and dark — exactly the kind of place a band like The Garden would play in.

I arrived late, and I missed the first opener (Cowgirl Clue), but judging by her music available online, she’s an ideal complement to The Garden: not only does her music sound just similar enough to them without being a copy of it, she’s openly inspired by The Garden, occasionally quoting them in songs.

I did arrive in time for the second opener, Tijuana Panthers. While their style is less similar to The Garden than Cowgirl Clue’s is (it’s more smooth and quiet), their overall mood was great and got the crowd excited for the main act.

The Garden is an odd group: it’s comprised of two eccentric twin brothers, Fletcher and Wyatt Shears, who grew up in California at the same time as L.A.’s music scene was emerging. Their music is unique: It’s indie rock but not in the way you’d expect. They mix together so many elements in their style: dreampop, antipop, rap, even a bit of screamo. It makes for a very interesting listen to a very eclectic band.

They’re a part of a larger group of artists made by the scene, and their behavior on stage reflects that they were once in the crowd: they reach out to the audience every few minutes, they jump into the crowd, and they even dress similarly to their listeners (or their listeners dress similarly to them — either way, the brothers and their fans have kindred spirits).

As soon as The Garden stepped onto stage and played the first note, the crowd went wild. A mosh pit formed immediately, and I was pushed to the wall (to my relief!). At times, the excitement died down, but in a few minutes, the band would move on to another song, and the crowd would be more rambunctious than before.

After taking a deep breath in through my nose, I realized why the crowd was so excited: the air was laden with the smell of illicit substances. I was expecting it, of course, but it still took me for a spin. I ended up leaving early due to the fact that I didn’t want to be affected by some sort of secondhand-high.

For the short time that I was there, I enjoyed myself (albeit with a sense of caution — being around a bunch of high 20-somethings who are yelling and jumping around and bruising each other isn’t exactly the most comforting situation), and the next time The Garden stops in town, expect to find me there, by the side of the wall and pinching my nose.