July 21, 2007, was one of those Saturday nights in St. Louis where there was almost too much going on, too many good shows to attend. Pete Yorn downtown at Live on the Levee, Junior Brown at Beale on Broadway. Venerable rappers Midwest Avengers in one club, venerable indie-rockers Bunnygrunt in another. But even with this stiff competition, local indie-rock quartet the Hibernauts packed Off Broadway to the rafters to celebrate the release of Periodic Fable
. The crowd at the bar was five deep, and more fans massed around the stage to cheer on the group like conquering heroes. And the Hibernauts fed off the vibes, entertaining friends and family with the exuberance of a prom band in a John Hughes flick. (Heck, the quartet even enacted a cheeky choreographed dance to some goofy electro-rock in the encore.) A fine encapsulation of power-pop, ambient-rock, Britpop and good old-fashioned sugary indie-pop, Fable
deserved to be celebrated, sure. But the audience reaction was even more telling. On this night there was no grumbling and complaining just a positive, optimistic atmosphere that made the St. Louis scene feel as big and shiny as any coastal mecca.