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No Water After Midnight: Pop From the Past

In Clubs, Music
TIMELESS: Playing jazzy versions of all the hits, No Water After Midnight are a modern-day house band.

TIMELESS: Playing jazzy versions of all the hits, No Water After Midnight are a modern-day house band.

A great song has the power to transcend time and space. A rich harmony, an infectious melody, a sick beat, a beautiful lyric: they all work together to move a listener—whether on the dancefloor, emotionally, or both.

Tara Alesia understands this. She and her band, No Water After Midnight, specialize in moving crowds with energetic, heartfelt and jazzed-up renditions of pop songs from yesteryear, yesterday and today. Inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z and D’ Angelo, the group plays cover songs from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s, as well as original numbers—sometimes all together as a single funky medley. The result is a musical time machine, capable of taking listeners back or propelling them forward.

“You hear songs from back in the day and you’re like ‘Oh my God, I forgot about this song,’ you know?” Alesia says. “‘I really loved this song at the time’ and so it takes them [the fans] back to a place in life when they were a little bit more carefree.”

In this way, No Water After Midnight are a lot like the contemporary resident DJ. Only instead of playing back or remixing recordings, they put their own distinct spin on the hits, incorporating live singing and rapping, improvisation and innovative arrangements. 

Being a house band in the age of the DJ gives No Water After Midnight a certain edge, according to Alesia. “What we do is a rarity in this area and a lot of the time people just stumble upon us and they connect,” she says, explaining that performing live results in an exchange of energy between the band and the crowd—something that can be harder to achieve working behind the turntable decks.

Alesia says that she and her bandmates have nothing against DJs. In fact, they often work with them in between sets. Still, she adds, there is just something about bringing out the guitars, keys, horns and drums, that makes No Water After Midnight special. “When you play music live, with live instruments, it’s timeless,” she says. 

No Water After Midnight plays at LVL 44 every Thursday night, Rosie McCann’s on Tuesdays and every third Saturday at The Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose.

No Water After Midnight
Thursdays, 9pm, Free
LVL 44, San Jose

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