Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Caribou @ Firebird (6/7/2010)

I was a little worried before this show that it could turn out to be two electronic-based artists (Toro Y Moi and Caribou) with good studio music but horrible live acts.  Thankfully, I turned out to be very wrong.

The show was scheduled to start at 8:30, and I showed up typically late around 8:40...even though I wanted to catch Toro Y Moi, as I had checked out his album and liked what I heard.  Unfortunately, there was a pretty long line to get into the small venue, and I ended up waiting about 20 minutes before getting in.  I caught a few snippets of his/their music whenever they opened the door to let a few people in at a time, and was able to finally enter in time to hear the last couple of songs.  The touring version of the band had 3 members - Chazwick on guitar/vocal, a drummer, and another guy.  From what I caught, they seemed pretty good.

Between sets a few audience members took advantage of the intimacy of the venue, and were able to talk to, take pictures with, and get autographs from both Chazwick (Toro Y Moi) and Daniel (Caribou).  When Caribou came on, they had four members on stage - Daniel on guitar/vocals/keyboard/drums/percussion, a bass player/back-up vocalist, a guitar/keyboard player, and a drummer.

Even though I was off to the side of the stage with a partially obstructed view and less than optimal sound (the tiny venue was pretty packed, so this was the only way I could get a semi-decent view without being a jerk), I could still appreciate what a great show this was.  They actually performed all the songs - both the older, more guitar based songs (which I was less familiar with, having only listened to the old albums once) and the new, more electronic songs on Swim (which will almost certainly make my list of top 10 albums this year).  If there were any pre-recorded samples or backing tracks, I couldn't tell.

As for highlights, pretty much everything off the new album rocked.  And even some of the old stuff did as well.  "Kaili", my initial favorite from the album was definitely a high point (despite the extended ending), and a couple of others ("Sun", "Bowl", "Hannibal") rose in stock after the live rendition.  If any song disappointed the slightest bit, it might have been "Jamelia", which is my current alternate favorite - the live version was actually pretty true to form, but for some unknown reason I expected it to be somehow better.  The other thing that irked me a little bit was that they, apparently like too many musicians for my liking, had a penchant for overly extending the endings of some of their songs...in a wall of sound thing that kinda works maybe the first time, but not too many times...and not when you drag it on and on...and overdo the dueling drums thing (except for the very last song - that was kinda cool).

But anyway...it was a pretty great show.  Good enough to buy a t-shirt afterward.  I wish had a decent enough view to record a couple of songs on video, but you can't win them all.

4.5/5 

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