While flashing his camera phone incessantly, I overheard a neighboring fan inquire if “the guy on keyboard” is “that dude from [some random] movie.” Not quite -- that’s Ryan Kattner (better known as Honus Honus of Man Man). Honus and Nick “Diamond” Thornburn (Islands and formerly Unicorns) trade off as duel lead vocalists. Together they meld the distinct sounds of Islands and Man Man into an unique brand of “doom-wop.” The two balance one another out in the perfect combination -- Diamond is the dreamy lead guitarist to Honus Honus' darker, manic growls and jangly, hammering keyboard instrumentals. All the while Joe Plummer (The Shins and Modest Mouse) steadily keeps the beat as Cera, aside from his ice-breaking joke (“Anyone here from Austin?”), remained focused on his new role as bassist.
They turned out an hour long set full of poppy jams and a quick encore. Cera took to the piano in a joking manner and staggered into a circus type jam, which evolved into a heartfelt cover of Daniel Johnston’s, “True Love Will Find You In The End,” as the others slowly crept back on stage and Honus picked up Cera’s bass.
Mister Heavenly capture and craft a fun, accessible, throwback sound -- a tolerable, lovable boy band with jammy breakdowns in playful songs about girls and love. It’s a simple format, tried and true, and they pull it off with a fresh energy. The project is certainly fresh and their future is uncertain, but shit, that’s all part of the excitement! They've signed a deal with Sub Pop, so expect an official release sometime soon.
In a brief reunion after the show, Kattner explained that Diamond played all the bass parts on their album, but thought of Cera when they decided to go on tour. Diamond and Cera met when Cera appeared in a video for Islands, which is kind of funny, because oddly enough Honus is pals with Cera's ex, Charlyne, from when she appeared in a video for Man Man! All in all, it's that sense of fraternity and casualness that truly makes this project so enjoyable.
All Photos By Mary Rehak