The four-member band Moon Ruin arranged itself around a half circle of keyboards, mixers, synths, pedals and a drumset for its performance at the Blockhouse Bar on Tuesday evening.
The band is comprised of lead vocalist Jared Bartman, guitarist Mike Noyce, drummer Dave Power and bassist Brian Wells. Noyce has played with Bon Iver and The Tallest Man on Earth.
“Feel free to step up, hang out and chill out,” Noyce told the crowd.
A group of people gathered near the stage while others sat on leather couches and chairs arranged throughout the venue. The set began with a recording of a person speaking.
"Man to man, man to machine," the prerecorded message said. "We have come a long way."
Then, the band performed the song “Occidental” from its new album, “Slow Down Ego.” The song included pre-recorded and live drums, along with Wells on a synth keyboard.
One audience member let out a loud gasp as the electronic song came to an end.
After rearranging one of the monitor speakers, the band played the song “Comrades In Arms.” Bartman, Noyce and Wells produced a haunting three-part harmony while Bartman played the sampler and keyboard.
Between songs, Noyce thanked the owner and sound engineer of the Blockhouse for being so on top of setting up all of the band's electronic equipment.
“This is a super cool spot," Noyce told the audience. "You guys are really lucky."
During the next song, “Walk Away From Me,” Bartman played electric guitar and provided echoing vocals.
Following the song, Bartman told the audience about the new album.
“We just put out a record a little over a week ago at a little label in South Bend, Indiana, called Dilated Time Records,” Bartman said.
Bartman released two albums prior to forming the band Moon Ruin, "The Kathy Clark E.P" in 2007 and "Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows" in 2013. Moon Ruin released its first album, "Slow Down Ego," on April 6.
Noyce said he lived in Bartman’s basement for seven months to work on the album and was woken up by Bartman’s two children at 7 a.m. every day after working on the album all night.
Before the last song of the set, Bartman thanked opening acts Moor Hound, the stage name of Bloomington folk rock musician Steve Marino. Bartman also thanked local rock musician Frank Schweikhardt for closing out the evening.
The final song called “See You Go” featured Bartman recording and looping his own voice and layering the loops to create harmonies over electronic beats.
Bartman said he wanted to try mixing live instruments such as the guitar with electronic music from samplers and synths for the album "Slow Down Ego."
“I learned a whole new set of musical skills in writing the songs for 'Slow Down Ego,'” Bartman said.
Bartman said the album represents giving up his ego by having his wife and children perform on the album too.
“Music is an extremely important thing in my life,” Bartman said. “It doesn’t mean anything if things are not good with my family.”