Richard Buckner - A couple of guys hit the stage on guitar and drums. Just as I make the assumption that the guitarist is Buckner, they begin with a hypnotic Wipers-esque rhythm. There is a depth and assurity to the sound as I am immediately feeling a movement through the landscape of the music. The vocals are deep, throaty but clear. The sound settles more into a rural psychedelia with more reverb on the guitar than the vocals. The drummer switches over to second guitar and assists with the vocals at times. There is not one break in the guitar playing reminiscent of Husker Du or Honor Role. The crowd is really involved in the set, so much so, that they find ways to applaud even without the breaks in the music. I also get a real post-Velvet/Feelies vibe working here and ultimately I am in the transportive mindspace of an artist similar to Perry Leopold, one of the giants of loner acid-folk. After this well received 45-minute set, I need a break to let what I have heard settle in my mind. This was a hypnotic time that does not happen too often and I am thankful to have belatedly discovered (he has eight albums after all!) this talented artist.
Sebadoh - I have seen plenty of Lou Barlow over recent years with the very active Dinosaur Jr. along with another solo project, The Missing Men. I was quite happy to see my favorite Barlow-related band get back together for this tour. He is back with Jason Lowenstein who brought along his drummer, Bob D'Amico, from the Fiery Furnaces where Lowenstein has been working in recent years. It is a good size crowd nearly filling the room, but there is some more room in the back than there was at the Joy Formidable show the night before. Sebadoh took it easy in the beginning but slowly added some of their spicier rocking material in as the set went on. The crowd definitely took to both the rockers and the catchy pop tunes that this band was famous for delivering back in the day. This tour was to celebrate the rerelease of "Bakesale" and there was some press about this album being played in its entirety. It wasn't, but no one cared. Lou said they learned 30 songs for the tour and the band proceeded to play them in whatever order they felt like. He even laughed when they got a request for a song that he said they were playing out west but have forgotten to play in recent weeks. "License to Confuse" and "Got It" got great ovations as the opening notes were quickly recognized by most of the crowd. Jason Lowenstein switched over to guitar for several songs, but was on bass about 2/3 of the time. He sang some leads from the bass as they both did plenty of vocal work. Both Barlow and Lowenstein are fine writers and that was always part of the appeal of this band. A couple of Lowenstein's songs had a real hardcore edge in that weird Sebadoh way. It was as if the band was trying to play Meat Puppets I songs in some comprehensible way. Ultimately, this band has always been successful at being catchy and obtuse at the same time. And it worked tonight. "This is indie rock, right?" Lou asked the crowd at the end. Yes, but it is far beyond as well.
Quote of the Night: Barlow... "We're on tour to support our new t-shirt."