Monday, May 23, 2005
It was a whirlwind weekend up in Vermont, back and forth in 24 hours to visit family and catch the Rilo Kiley, Nada Surf, & the Brunettes show at Higher Ground in South Burlington. When I found out that Nada Surf was doing just a few East Coast shows, I decided that seeing 'em up there on a Saturday night would be much better than a Sunday night show at Boston's much-larger Avalon. So worth the extra effort...
We arrived near the end of the Brunnettes, and I liked the couple songs we saw, including the set-closing Olsen Twins number (although the full-band Mary Kate & Ashley masks were frightening). I'll have to check out the audio samples on their site sometime soon, see how their recordings strike me.
Up next was Nada Surf, the main attraction for me, but only because I'd just seen Rilo Kiley last fall. I hadn't seen N.S. in a long time, and I knew they'd be playing a few songs from their next album, which according to singer/guitarist Matthew Caws was finished last week and is due out in September. I was a huge fan of their last one, 'Let Go', so I'll be grabbing their next on its release date.
They put on a fantastic show, far better than the last time I saw them in Boston (which was a pretty good show to begin with). Matthew's singing, as always, was dead on; he's rarely less than note perfect... I just love the guy's voice and songwriting style. Their set consisted mostly of 'Let Go' songs, along with three new ones and a couple from 1998's 'The Proximity Effect'. Here you go...
A personal highlight: During their set, just before 'Inside of Love', Matthew namechecked the best (and least known) damn band to ever come outta Burlington, Guppyboy. I was just stunned. You'll hear it if you download the track... so damn cool.
Sadly, it appears that Rilo Kiley has adopted a new 'No Photos, No Video, No Recording' policy, so in the middle of Nada Surf's set I was confronted by club security and asked to bring my digital camera to the box office. I'd missed the posted sign, wasn't searched, and Higher Ground is normally cool with picture taking, so I snapped away without fear or flash. Regardless, I got embarassingly escorted to the lobby where I had to hand it over (that explains my fade out of '80 Windows' and the missing mp3 for the amazing 'Killian's Red'... one of my favorite Nada songs, and I missed it).
I don't blame the venue, they were obviously instructed to do this by the band(s), but it was pretty bizarre... I thought the days of 'no photos' were long gone. And as silly as a 'no audio recording' policy might seem to me personally these days, at least I can understand why a band might do it. I'd call it misguided and paranoid, but hey, it's their music and their call. Confiscating digital cameras, though? Totally uncool.
I suppose now that tiny electronic devices are so ubiquitous, and are becoming more and more multi-functional, an all-or-nothing choice has to be made... but I wonder if it's R.K. themselves or their brand new major label ties (they're on the WB) that has put a stop to the sharing. Either way, it's unfortunate. Makes me wonder how much longer they'll keeping letting first-rate fan site RiloKiley.net make full live sets available.
Anyway, obviously no one noticed my clip-on stereo mic, so here's Rilo Kiley's excellent set from Saturday night, minus the first song since I was caught slightly unawares (and I hate fading in). Naturally, if the band or label has a problem with my sharing these with other fans, they can just let me know...
Rilo KileyIt was such a great sounding night, Rilo Kiley also putting on a better show than the last time I'd seen them in Boston. Their soundguy, Robbie, did a beautiful job of balancing everything: Blake Sennett's great backup vocals, extra-member Michael Runyan's added guitar parts, Harry from the Brunettes' trumpet on 'It's a Hit' and 'Ripchord', all of it was crystal clear... a powerful mix but never too loud. Loved it.
On my way out of the show, as I grabbed my confiscated camera, the Higher Ground staffer who'd taken it handed me a couple fairly cool ltd. edition, hand-numbered, screen-printed Rilo Kiley posters to make up for it... it was a really nice gesture that was very much appreciated. I'd like to offer my extra up to another RK fan,
Stop back in the next couple of days when I'll be doing the same with a spiffy autographed Summer At Shatter Creek poster from Fingerprints Music in Long Beach, CA.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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