I blame the various local television affiliates for my lack of show-going on Saturday night. At around 8 o’clock I looked outside and it was coming down hard. The fear-mongers said it would continue that way all night, exceeding 12 inches. That was enough to keep me off the roads. The next morning when I went out to shovel I noticed we only got around 3 or 4 inches, that it never snowed much after that initial blast at round 8. Now I now regret not venturing out to either the TSITR show at Sokol or Bright Eyes show at Murphy’s. If anyone was at either, let us know how they went here.
Pitchfork weighed in on last night’s Bright Eyes’ gig in Chicago (here). From the review: “The opening one-two punch of ‘Four Winds’ and ‘Reinvent the Wheel’ seemed to indicate that this would be a high-energy performance; alas, that was not the case. Soon, everybody had settled comfortably into a languid country-rock pace that would last for the rest of the evening. Even the show-closing ‘Old Soul Song.’ which usually erupts into exquisitely controlled chaos, had mellowed.” Keep in mind that this is a stripped-down version of Bright Eyes on this tour, featuring core players Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott, along with Neva Dinova’s Jake Bellows on bass and guitar, and drummer Rachel Blumberg (ex-Decemberist, Norfolk & Westerner). Expect a much larger, more robust ensemble when he goes out on the second leg of the tour in support of Cassadaga.
I did go out Friday to see Kite Pilot and Adam Weaver at The Saddle Creek bar, arriving just as Spring Gun was finishing their set. Not a bad draw, maybe 50 people? Spring Gun sounded pretty good, and I would have liked to have seen their entire set. Next time.
Kite Pilot ran through their set with the usual panache, though their songs seemed to move a bit slower than the last time I saw them at O’Leaver’s. That O’Leaver’s set left me thinking they’d be just fine without Austin Britton’s guitar. Now I’m not so sure that they don’t need someone there to fill in their sound. As a trio, the keyboards and bass alone aren’t enough, and even on the few songs where Erica Hanton switched to guitar and Todd Hanton handled the bass lines on his keyboards, something was lacking, especially on the punkier numbers. KP has altered their style to something more beat-heavy that borders on Talking Heads, which I dig. We’ll see if they make any adjustments before their next gig at Saddle Creek Bar March 9, which I’ll likely miss as it’s the opening night of The Waiting Room.
This was my first go-’round seeing Adam Weaver and The Ghosts. Not bad, though the music was a bit too mid-tempo for my mood that evening. Most of the well-performed songs were acoustic droners heavy on layered tones, and felt somewhat maudlin. Beneath the laid-back, acoustic folk rock were some interesting melodies that left me wondering how they’d sound played twice as fast (and twice as loud). Weaver says I’m the only person who’s compared his voice (and his band) to Toad the Wet Sprocket, but again, that was the first thing that came to mind on Saturday, along with Joshua Tree-era U2, thanks to the chiming, textured second guitar. All and all, pretty music, though no melody stuck with me to Monday morning.
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