Doug Fir, Portland
Sunday, March 28th, 2010
"What am I doing walking through a monsoon late on a Sunday night to see a show?"
"This is one of the bands on the lineup I'm most excited to see."
"Why am I doing this? This sucks."
"I can't wait to get there, this is going to be great."
Now that we have my poor mental health established, I eventually made it to the venue to see the Low Anthem. I have some good news for you, and some bad news.
First, the good news, this band is great live. They could have played until 2am, and I would have loved every minute. I am new to the band, having only heard Oh My God Charlie Darwin about six times, so I had no idea what to expect. I envisioned two different lead singers, since the guy who sings the high pitched vocals on Charlie Darwin can't be the same guy who shouts the growling vocals on The Horizon is a Beltway, right? It is, and he is the same guy who sings the more tame vocals on Ohio. So he sounds like three different dudes, awesome. His voice is something else, and had the crowd awaiting his next lyric the entire night. The guy could have been singing a song about torturing panda bear cubs and cheating on your taxes, and the crowd would have been just as captivated.
His voice could have easily stolen the show, but it's a tribute to the talent in the band that it didn't. Do you like musicians who can play multiple instruments? Each of the four on stage played at least four instruments, and sang, often harmonizing together. Ever seen someone play the harmonica while drumming? Neither had I. Actually, it is possible the dude's mustache was playing the harmonica while he played the drums. I don't want to get too specific, and ruin the surprises, so I'll keep this moving.
More good news, they said they have nearly completed a new album, and are in the process of reducing the amount of tracks. Of the new songs they played, it felt like the sound was leaning more toward alt-country than folk, with the female in the band singing often. She also screamed a verse on Home I'll Never Be, which was one of the many highlights of the show.
Here's the setlist:
11:20pm to 12:35am, 3/28/10
1. Ticket Taker
2. To The Ghosts Who Write History Books
3. Cage The Songbird
5. Ghost Woman Blues
6. This God Damn House
7. Home I'll Never Be
8. Sally, Where'd You Get Your Liquor From
11. To Ohio
12. Seniorita (with guest guitar player)
13. The Horizon Is A Beltway (completely different song than the album version).
14. Dreams Can't Chase You Down (with Blind Pilot trumpet player)
Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the bad news. The band is no longer listed on the lineup on the Sasquatch main page. Is there a prize for the most anticlimactic ending to a review?