Norfolk & Western and Devotchka - June 26 - Higher Ground
Great show. N&W covered Neil Young and Camper Van Beethoven. Devotchka covered Siouxsie and the Banshees. (Last week I saw Band of Horses cover Hall & Oates. I have no idea what's going on.) N&W played really strong and had lots of depth. Roots folk, but with more energy and sound then I anticipated. The Neil cover fit perfectly.
I saw Devotchka open up for M Ward approximately a year ago. I think there were a dozen people there, tops. That show felt so weird - the romantic atmospheric music and an empty room. It was like they were singing just to me and I didn't like it very much (the music was fine, but the feeling was a bit too intense, almost stalkerish). I thought that in the right setting they would be fantastic and far from flat. I was right. Approximately 200 people filled HG's small room. People were dancing and enjoying; the band even seemed to be digging the crowd's energy (espec. for a Monday night). I still find Devotchka a bit gimmicky, but I can appreciate gimmick. The lights on the tuba, the theramin, the banana shaker, not to forget the South American rhythms and Eastern European gypsy melodies, it all works. Just make sure more that you are surrounded by more then a dozen of your friends.
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