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CMJ Music Marathon 2008 Day 3: Pela

Words and Pictures by Steve Stirling

If I knew anything more about Pela outside of their Thursday night performance at Mercury Lounge, I'd probably hate them. Pela strike me as a glorified bar band that -- as evidenced by a small horde of young girls that lined the front of the stage -- has a following. They put forth a brand of unapologetic, straightforward rock led by a charismatic frontman whose ambition likely outweighs his ability. That said -- these guys can play. At face value, they gave one of the best performances I've seen thus far at CMJ. Pela galvanized a crowd subdued by the quieter Frances, utilizing a phenomenal group chemistry to lift the Mercury Lounge from a state of suspended animation. In a city where a holier than thou attitude can often reign over a performance, the unabashed lust for rocking Pela brought was refreshing.

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