Friday, October 19, 2007

How tired is tired?

It's tired. That's all I'm saying. Except maybe that it is too tired to write good concert reviews, but here goes anyway.

The week started with The Fiery Furnaces, which I stumbled into really more on a whim than anything - I only have one album (the quirky Bitter Tea) but had heard good things about their live act. And I've got to say I'm glad I took the chance. Lead singer Eleanor Friedberger has the cool vibe and looks of Patty Smith/Jenny Lewis if you morphed them together. It's been a long time since I've seen a band fronted by a strong female singer, and the rest of the band was great. And tight. All good, once again. There is another (better, likely less tired) review & a good photo here .

And last night was Akron/Family. Brace yourself for a review of another show that was POORLY ATTENDED. Vancouver, I don't get you - pearls before swine, or gortex, or something. I don't get you at all. The last two Akron shows were well attended. And I know, I know. I've gone on about them before. But they deserve my adoration. They deserve everyone's adoration. And granted, the 150 or so that showed up were loving it. But enough of that...

The band has morphed into something quite different than what I've seen the last couple of years - they are up from 4 member to 7, and one of the original members (Ryan Vanderhoof, singing in the link on my earlier post) was missing. It's unclear if he couldn't make the show or he's gone for good, but I hope it is the former. Anyhoo, to be honest there wasn't much room to miss him, between the two drummers, four guitars and keyboards. I am not sure what configuration I prefer. Both have advantages - certainly having 7 moves it into one of my favorite categories - an overabundance of bodies on the stage - but I like the focus of the 4 man shows as well. I'll stop now or I'll just keep going round and round.

It is hard to really explain an Akron show. Except to say it is all consuming, incredibly energetic and leaves you no space to breathe. At all. One song morphs into another, pretty much nonstop. Sounds move from head slamming discord to delicate soft harmony. It is the sort of thing that warrants interpretive dancing. And incense. And probably a mind altering substance or two. I can confirm that at all three things were there, though I won't confirm that I had anything to do with any of them. And I don't know how the band keeps going full bore for so long. The club shut them down at 1am, after at least 2 hours, and it was obvious they would have kept going. And once again Vancouver, for shame for not showing a great band the love they deserve.

I should also mention the opening act - The Dodos. For the second time, Akron/Family has had a really strong opening act - last year it was the Born Ruffians. Both bands have a similar energy and are worth watching out for. I've posted a Dodos clip above - give it a look and listen.

1 comment:

haikugirl said...

I always enjoy your reviews - too bad the turnout is dwindling. R has me listening to Acorn (on your recommendation I believe) and I'm liking it! Helps reduce the anxiety before Sunday's big run.
See you soon - haikugirl