Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vandaveer/Lost in the Trees/Englishmen - DC9 - June 16 2009

Englishmen - The keyboardist from These United States joined a m/f guitar/vox duo for a nice set of folkish songwriter material. Nothing exploded off the charts but it was quite accessible and pretty high quality to my ears. In this genre, there isn't much difference between a nice opening act and some of the big-label headliners. Although one thing would help this band's chances--picking a name that can be quickly found in Myspace or Youtube.

Lost in the Trees - Eight people crowded the stage playing various instruments including: 2 violins, 2 cellos, acoustic guitar, mandolin, electric guitar, accordian, glockenspiel, tuba, keyboard, and drums. The singer mentioned that this was the "lite"version as 14 of them will hit the stage when they are home in North Carolina. Excellent music and a lovely set well arranged and well received by the sizable crowd. They reminded me of one of the surprise sets at last year's Terrastock Festival, an oversize band from Louisville called Sapat. My radar goes up when I see a mini-orchestra headed to the stage at a rock show, but after these two bands, it's time to worry less and be open to great music from bands of any size.

Vandaveer - Married folk duo with Mark Charles Heidinger singing and playing guitar with his wife (portraying a latter day Diana Dors look) adding excellent harmonies. Solid enough and occassionally transcendant. A local act that is worth going out of your way for. I enjoyed the set and the night very much.

Quote of the Night: Ok, the set up... After 8 musicians left the stage, the two members of Vandaveer step up, position two microphones and plug in an acoustic guitar. The guitarist spends several minutes working with the soundman to get his monitor correct singing "1-7, all good boys go to heaven" or somesuch ditty. After several minutes of tweaking the soundman asks the patiently seated female singer for a check giving us the quotes "Check-sounds good". About half the audience chuckled and prompted the guitarist/husband to add "You're not supposed to show me up until the third song, that's what we agreed on." All in good fun, I might add.

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