Pree - It has been a while since I have caught this excellent local quartet and clearly things have changed. They are still recognizable with their delicate vocals and skillful mood setting music, but they seem to have shifted a bit from psyche folk into popsike. Hardly earth shattering moves here and it all works extremely well tonight. The vocals have a deep quivering quality to them while the guitars are spacier than ever with steady rock rhythms holding it all together. Their half hour set is worth the price of admission alone and tonight they begin a loaded and complimentary bill with all the skill of a headlining act--no surprise to the many Pree fans in attendance.
Kevin Morby - Morby plays bass in the band Woods and not only comes out with guitar and lead vocals tonight, but brings along a rhythm section and second guitarist (joining in from song three on). They also employ some keyboards to their highly engaging sound. They have a warm west coast rock vibe that reminds me in spirit of Dino Valente or the Beau Brummels. Yet they could push it a little with some Greg Sage (solo vs. his Wipers songs) style guitar and songwriting. The big difference there would be the smooth delivery of the vocals more in keeping with those sixties San Francisco rockers. This was a strong 38 minute set and shows that Morby and his band is every bit as interesting as Woods. I could really leave happy right now, but that is not a serious option.
Cate Le Bon - This is the second time I have seen this Welsh singer songwriter and I would have mildly looked forward to this based on the first show, except that I heard (and reviewed) her recent album which I thought was a major step forward. There were a lot of daring moves in the writing and arrangements, so I was hopeful that she could make that same sort of magic on stage tonight. I am not the only one as this place is packed, which is a big improvement from the last time she was in DC. So people are listening and catching on to her talents. And with tonight's set just under an hour, she is practically guaranteed to have even more people interested as the word spreads. Her songs seem to float above ground but hang by within reach using perfect control of ballast. It is a smooth journey with a few sharp turns that showcases her creative talents just as her recent album did. She can engage in some serious rocking as well as lock in some pop hooks while never losing her special atmosphere. This concluded a top notch show that I can not imagine anyone leaving unfulfilled.
Quote of the Night: "You ought to spend half of your review exploring the possibility that she is the secret child of of (Duran Duran's) Simon Le Bon."
Been a while since I have done detective work and it sounds like it would require some serious work to develop into a story or more likely a conspiracy theory. But for now, no, it is not happening.