Dan MacIntosh: We Are Scientists Create Stellar Formula at the Constellation Room

We Are Scientists on 'Lobes' Tour - All Photos by Dan Monick
We Are Scientists on 'Lobes' Tour - All Photos by Dan Monick

We Are Scientists
Constellation Room
November 25, 2023


SANTA ANA, CA – Keith Murray the guitarist-vocalist, and Chris Cain, bassist, are We Are Scientists, and when touring with drummer Keith Carne, these musicians create quite the effective rock power trio.

Trekking behind this year’s Lobes, the act put on one fine show in the Constellation Room, the more intimate venue within The Observatory in Santa Ana, Calif.

We Are Scientists on Tour – Dan Monick

Between songs, at one point, bassist Cain commented humorously, while EDM music came through the wall from the big room, describing it with slight disdain. We Are Scientists is certainly not an electric dance music act. However, the group’s most recent album does nevertheless incorporate more dance elements than previous efforts. One new track, “Operator Error,” was driven by distinctive dance beats, for instance. These dance-y tracks lean closely to rock, due to Murray’s rhythmic electric guitar parts, however. This was especially noticeable during the funky strumming he performed during “Settled Accounts.” “I Cut My Own Hair,” additionally, features what can only be described as a disco dance bass line.

We Are Scientists – Dan Monick

Although all three in the band sing, Murray handles all lead vocals. His singing features a slight quiver, which sometimes gives his tone a jazzy feel. All three also appear to get along well, and Murray and Cain have been creating music to together since 1999, so they’ve been musical partners for a long time now.

Brett Newski, who goes by just the name ‘Newski,’ opened the evening with a winning set. It’s not easy opening for a rock band with just an acoustic guitar as accompaniment, but Newski proved it is do-able. With a good sense of humor, and plenty of interaction with the audience, Newski most certainly made new fans this night. His sense of humor especially came through when he introduced “Nevermind, Not Nirvana,” as titled that way, presumably, to avoid being sued by Nirvana. 

Newski is a tall lad and mentioned a few times how he’s originally from Wisconsin. Around midway through his set, he asked the audience if it had any questions, so one man up front asked what was his favorite sticker on his guitar (as there are many on the instrument’s body). Newski replied how his favorite was his Larry Bird sticker. He and his brother Ben came from basketball-loving families, so it’s not surprising this sticker is the one he likes best.

Despite the dance beats applied, this small but loyal audience behaved like indie rock fans. Not really moving much, but just slightly swaying to the music. They were just taking in the science of excellent alternative rock music, and loving it.

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