I spent more than enough time with Now It's Overhead's third album, "Dark Light Daybreak", in the final few months of 2006 to count it among my favorites of the year. NIO frontman Andy LeMaster adds meticulous production skills to his varied songwriting, giving the Saddle Creek-released disc a depth and beauty that at times echoes the strengths of Mark Linkous and his Sparklehorse. But that's not to say he and his band can't rock out a bit live, which they did when they played downstairs at the Middle East in November.
The range of moods that LeMaster is able to conjure with his studio work might be difficult for anyone to pull off live without lulls, and this might explain why NIO's set didn't focus much on the new album (only three of the ten songs were recent ones), and instead picked the most upbeat from each of their three releases. While I was at first disappointed to not hear more of the songs I'd grown to love since September, it lent a cohesiveness to the set, and prompted me to pick up both the self-titled 2001 debut and 2004's "Fall Back Open".
Now It's Overhead is about to depart their hometown of Athens, GA and head overseas for a nearly two-month tour that starts off with six dates in the UK. On Thursday, January 18th they'll be in Amsterdam, and Fabchannel will be streaming video and audio of their entire set live from the Paradiso. Check here at 2pm EST that day, 8pm Amsterdam local time.
the fine print... If anyone has an issue with this live set being made available, just say the word (contact info in the 'nac faq). Recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps mp3s. Mp3s are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.