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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Future Islands // Small Sur (04-23-10)

Me and various others ended up going to two shows last Friday night, seeing both the Small Sur show at The Garage as well as Future Islands show at the Tea Bazaar. The reviews for these shows are bellow.

Small Sur / Chris Campanelli @ The Garage

Had never actually been to The Garage before but had been meaning to attend a show there for a while and last night in fairly spontaneously moment decided to catch the Small Sur show that was happening there after finishing up my dinner fairly early. I wasn’t that knowledgeable about Small Sur but I remember reading on some blog (don’t recall which) that they put on a enjoyable set of dazed ambient folk music, so I was intrigued and fairly excited.

Chris Campanelli from Charlottesville opened the night off with a fairly typical yet quite enjoyable set of modern age folk music with an ample dose of legit well-written and composed lyrics to go along with it. His set while not life changing was still quite enjoyable, and it was just lots of fun hanging outside seeing people play music and enjoy oneself on such a nice night out. To really sum up how I felt about the set, music as well as life doesn’t always have to be some sort of grand statement, something just happen and the best thing to do is let them blossom and just go with it an relax, and that was basically how I felt about Chris Campanelli set in a nutshell.

Small Sur were up after that and there show definitely lived up to the buzz that I had read about them. Mellon Collie vocals and guitar work with uplifting almost moan like sounds coming from saxophone being played, which seemed present to basically calm the storm of the vocal and guitar. There sound was more or less the same throughout the set but it was one of those things were they played around with a particular sound for a whole set and made it so the audience went into a trance almost hypnotic state were everyone was buzzed out and relaxed to various degrees.

While the show was overall quite great I should probably note that having a concert outdoors on the downtown mall on a Friday night didn’t work out as well as I expected. In short this is due to various drunk people either yelleing at the musicians playing from either cars or while walking to get to there cars. I get it people, your drunk, your invincible or something to that degree, but there is also something calling being respectful, seriously grow up a little.

Future Islands / Rhythm Bandit / Olivia Mancini @ Twisted Branch Tea Bazzar

I’ve seen Future Islands a couple times before this show and both times I’ve seen them they have just been blown me away by how engrossing of a live show they put on. There sound has changed a lot in a little over a year from what used to be a dramatic but playful manner to an almost defeated and hurt growl of a sound, with a very similar electronic touch in the background. I was definitely excited to hear that they were going to be playing at the teahouse, as well as hearing that my friend and fellow Witchmond contributor Dylan Mulshine would be opening the show. So I made sure to be down in Charlottesville for this show and am definitely not disappointed by this decision.

Olivia Mancini was the first person on the bill and sadly I came to the show near the end of her set due to checking out the show at The Garage. Her set seemed to be in the style of playful girl led female acoustic folk with playful lyrics and definite positive energy. I really wish I had more to say but I was spending the majority of her set saying hi to friends I hadn’t seen in a while as well as ordering some tea. Talked to her after the show and she seemed to be a really nice and genuine person, so hopefully I get to chance to see her play live soon and pay more attention to her material next time.

Rhythm Bandit was up after that and to be direct this was one his best sets to date. Since the last I saw him play a couple months ago his sound has progressed from playful but harsh casio tones to incorperate some more noise making gadets as well as a changing up his sound from less dance oriented beats and more into what seems to be making sonic sound landscapes. Was a great set to sit back and almost meditate while the sounds dylan made filled the air and helped clear ones mind of lifes various tensions. Seriously I might be biased due to Dylan being a good friend of mine but this kid is seriously making some of my favorite music right now in Charlottesville, if you haven’t already seen him live see him play live as soon as you can, this kid will be going places.

Future Islands were up after Dylan and put on yet again just another amazing show. Sam Herring,the vocalist of the group just brings a real good energy to the stage when he plays but is also able the put on a real theatrical and dramtic performance that brings you a member of the audience into his hurt and damaged life and makes you feel compassion for the pain he feels as well as the pain you have felt throughout your life. Even with what seems like a downer concept of a band they are still able to put on a real good dance show with many bodies in the audience dancing as well as creating a good energy to the hurt filled sound of the band. This is a group that I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear lots of talk about when thee new record In Evening Air drops in early May, because they seem to have found a polished sound now that is as haunting as it is catchy. Check out Future Islands if you havent yet, they are just phenomenal, simple as that.

photo courtesy of baskin

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