A night of contrasting musical styles at The Camel culminated with a high-energy performance by New York City hip-hop trio Menya.
Other acts that performed at The Camel Monday night included Trouble!, Digging up Virgins and Tyrannosaurus Awesome.
Richmond indie acoustic outfit Trouble! and her shy friend Jenn opened the show. “Like Like Sprung,” a lighthearted love tune, exemplified Trouble!’s quirky, easy-listening style.
After a few brief missteps during a cover of Chris Brown’s “Poppin’,” Trouble! recovered with “Kelda,” an endearing tune about her dog and an ode to being friends with benefits titled “JFWB.”
Besides the awkward monologues between each song and the occasional hiccup on guitar, Trouble!’s performance was solid and enjoyable.
Digging up Virgins, an upbeat four-piece college rock group from Williamsburg, picked up the pace following Trouble!.
The crowd nodded along to selections from their recently released EP “Can You Dig Me Now?” that included “Morgan” and “(I’m Giving) Up on You.”
The occasional lick from their lead guitarist provided variety, but not nearly enough, and their punky riffs lost their luster by the end of their 45-minute set.
The duo known as Tyrannosaurus Awesome set up with a single guitarist and a drummer, underscoring their “bare essentials” approach. However, less isn’t always more, and it definitely wasn’t in this instance.
A lack of musicality combined with an amp that was too loud plagued the performance, rendering the lyrics unintelligible.
After opening their set with a song about “bears and stuff,” they proceeded to power strum and robotically drum for more than 30 minutes.
Making their fourth stop on their spring tour, Menya took the stage at The Camel to a crowd of about 40 people.
“Who’s ready to party on a Monday night?” Angie Ripe, Menya’s vocalist said as they took the stage.
“We’re going to jam, because that’s what we came here to do,” said Coco Dame, the group’s all-purpose rapper, singer and hype man.
From the moment that DJ Richard James Goose dropped the first track, “On the Run,” every head in the building bobbed.
“Diana (I Heart U)” set the tone for the rest of the performance. The group delivered the poppy break-up tune with attitude, extending a sincere invite to their ex to come retrieve their belongings (“B**** come and get it”).
The trio performed multiple songs off of their recently released self-titled album, including “Kamikaze,” “Flames” and “Awkward in Between.”
Menya’s hip-hop influenced electronica practically dripped energy, infusing the crowd and propelling the trio through their set.
By the time Menya performed their fan favorite “Hottest Lesbo,” the performance seemed to be peaking. But the energy carried through the hip-hop groove “Loose (is the Goose),” with Dame ripping the mic.
Ironically, the performance climaxed with “Oh!” – one of Menya’s less-racy songs. The crowd danced until the last beat and sent the group off with appreciative applause.
Though they didn’t perform last, there was no doubt who the headliner was. Monday night belonged to Menya.
For more information on Trouble!, visit her Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/troubleyall. For more information on Digging up Virgins, visit http://diggingupvirgins.bandcamp.com/. For more information on Tyrannosaurus Awesome, Google them. For more information on Menya, visit http://menya.bandcamp.com/.