Eames Era Charm Heatwave Audience
Tampa, Florida • May 20, 2006
Tropical Heatwave has been a Tampa tradition for 25 years now. For a quarter-century, community radio station WMNF has been packing the vicinity of Ybor City’s Cuban Club with an eclectic mix of proven crowd pleasers and up-and-comers. While it was relatively big names like Chuck Profit and the reformed Blasters who filled the courtyards with swaying bodies, it may have been a young band from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who made the biggest impact on impressionable music lovers.
While the Eames Era have made a ripple on the national scene with one of their songs appearing on the soundtrack to Grey’s Anatomy, their two CDs are on a tiny label forcing touring to be something more akin to weekend road trips than major crusades. In other words, the Eames Era have not broken into the big time yet, but you’d never know based on the response from the audience at the Orpheum. As soon as charismatic lead singer Ashlin Phillips launched into the first number, the audience was enthralled. While the four guys in the band laid down shimmering layers of power pop groove, Phillips danced and sang as if she were having the best night of her life. Her enthusiasm literally boiled over the stage when a group of women celebrating an impending relocation invaded the stage to join Ashlin shaking their groove thangs. From the attention paid by the impromptu dance unit to the male members of Eames Era, Phillips isn’t the only member of the band appreciated for sexiness as well as skills.
If there had been a label honcho in the audience, they would have surely noted the impressive line at the merch table that began forming well before their set was over. In fact, the biggest security problem of the night was holding in check eager fans trying to pay for product before someone could get over to take their money. That’s hardly the worst thing that I’ve seen happen in a rock and roll club.
Ashlin told fans after the set that they’ll probably stay off the road for most of the summer to work on a follow up to their CD, Double Dutch. I know there are many new fans in the Tampa area who are hoping that means Eames Era will return in the fall for another evening of pure pop epiphany.