NOTE: Sorry for the delay of this review. I went home early and had a lot of homework over the weekend.
Total gig rating: 7
Hey you guys, guess who won show tickets again? It’s really not that hard, but I’m going to let you figure out how to do it yourselves. Don’t want to give away all of my secrets, now do I?
Because it’s always the first and most important order of business, no, I did not attend this gig with my mom because The Cedar is all-ages which makes me happy. She did however pick me up after the show.
After a while of talking to the ACTUAL FRIEND I was with, Mystery Palace started up their show. They all seemed like nice people, but I wasn’t impressed by their show. The first issue I had was that their vocals were turned way down. I like bands without vocals if they have enough substance to them, but this band did not intend to be without vocals and could not stand up without them. I found their songs to be repetitive and rather boring. The only good thing was that their drummer had a pretty driving beat, yet it was still repetitive. Also, they seemed like nice guys. Trust me, I would love to give every local band I see a glowing review, but I simply cannot if it is not deserved. They seemed like nice guys though.
Next up! CD release show for Peter Wolf Crier, so the setlist was naturally full of Garden of Arms. I do believe they played solely that album and in order, with the exception of one song from Inter-Be. As a whole, they put on a really great show. Some of the highlights were “Beach” and “Hard Heart”. I do think I’ve been depriving myself of good rock shows, because those songs were absolutely wonderful. Beach got really intense towards the end, and the whole band is so talented at what they do. Brian Moen was drumming so hard and fast that two shards of drumstick flung themselves across the stage right at Peter. It was pretty amusing, allowing that both pieces landed without causing harm. Peter got really into his guitar playing as well, which was only a bit weird looking because he was sitting down. I don’t really care if you think you look like a maniac on stage. That translates, that makes the whole performance exciting and fun. It’s the best when a song can make me smile simply because of the energy it’s performed with. There were a few small points when the excitement level of the performance dipped, but it was otherwise an overall really solid show. A couple issues with mics had us waiting for 10 minutes or so altogether, but they didn’t matter in the end. During on specific song, Peter was having a bit of trouble reaching his high notes, but it wasn’t nails-on-chalkboard, certainly. I’m really glad I won tickets, and I hope to see Peter Wolf Crier rise in success with this coming tour.
Quotes from the evening, as remembered:
“Buy our t shirt… We have a t shirt…. There’s a rabbit on our t shirt, I like Rabbits” -Mystery Palace
“This next song’s for the only radio station that matters, eighty-nine three The Current *plays a song* ….and also, Radio K matters. Wow, that could’ve been bad if I didn’t say anything” -Peter Pisano
“I’m taking pictures because I want to remind Peter that people actually came out to see us. So when we’re on tour and there’s ten people in the audience I can show him them and say “See, people came out to see us.”” -Brian Moen
Total gig rating: 6.5
Like I said previous to this, I sadly couldn’t stay for the main act— Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps— which was disappointing because it was after all their CD release show, and I like what I’ve heard of them. I’ll just review what I did see here.
The Daredevil Christopher Wright, hailing from Eau Claire and more or less local. They started their set out with a three-part vocal display which was reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, but different. It was really lovely. Vocals are one of the key parts for me in a show because I think they give us as humans, something familiar. There’s always a certain disconnect when you see someone playing a guitar and hear it through the speakers. You know that a person is playing the instrument, but you have to make the connections. Whereas with voice, it’s just pure human emotions coming through, with the only medium being air and amplifier. Rant aside, I thought they were a talented group of people. I liked their music on the most part, but I just felt there was something still missing from it. The famous or infamous mother of mine told me I had to add her input. Here’s a quote; “Make a note, mummy likes them” (we’re not British, I don’t know).
Entonces, we heave Dead Man Winter here on the stage. I like basically all types of music with the exception being country. I can enjoy certain facets of it (see Watchman by Peggy Sue, Carolina Drama by The Raconteurs), but in general I really don’t enjoy it at all. In my opinion, most of it lacks a certain depth. Dead Man Winter we primarily a country band. Like I said, I don’t have a distaste for all country music, but their specific brand of it sounded very generic and mainstream to me. There was one song that sounded vaguely like the Black Keys, but it wasn’t raw enough. It was built up too much and in a bad way. That was the only semi-enjoyable song for me in their set. Their overall talent didn’t impress me too much either. The only person who specifically stood out for me was their violin (fiddle) player. Other than that, they were all just sufficient, talent wise. Their performance brought the total gig score down.
Now to my favourite part of the evening, Dark Dark Dark. I was excited to see them in a formal concert, after seeing them score Fritz Lang’s Spies with the Modern Times Spychestra at the Walker in August. They started the set out with a couple of songs from their new, album— Wild Go (whose cover features some of the band members’ bare bottoms)— and shortly thereafter introduced some new material. This is the launch of their North American tour for Wild Go, but I was glad they played a mix of songs rather than just play Wild Go from start to finish. They’re a very talented group of people, and I love the different mix of instruments. They have a more classical vibe to their music as opposed to an indie one, which I enjoy. Nona Marie Invie’s voice is wonderful as well. Some of their songs remind me a bit of Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song”, in the way that they’re dark and partially simplistic, but in a good way. A highlight of mine was their performance of a new song, which I would love to tell you the title of, but sadly can’t because they didn’t say it. Overall a beautiful performance. My favourite local band today.