Friday, August 14, 2009

Review: Blind Pilot at the Record Bar

Maybe it's time I stop making fun of my friend.

"Henry" and I are both incorrigible music fiends. We have an informal contest to see which one of us can catch the most live performances. (I'm at about 200 for 2009 but Henry is winning.) The funny part is that we have wildly different tastes. I'm obsessed with the Knowles sisters, hip hop, metal and jazz. Henry favors girly folk singers. We don't share much common ground.

Partly because I recently featured the band at There Stands the Glass, Henry insisted meet up Thursday for Blind Pilot's show at the Record Bar.

My friend is on to something. Blind Pilot was absolutely exquisite.

Working as a sextet, their delicate chamber folk completely enchanted me. Intricate arrangements featuring unlikely instruments including vibraphone, harmonium, trumpet, banjo and dulcimer were tasteful rather than fussy. Bandleader Israel Nebeker isn't exactly charismatic, but it didn't matter. Blind Pilot's music is best experienced while gently swaying with eyes closed.

The capacity audience consisted largely of attractive young women and simpering men. Thankfully, Henry's calming presence kept me on my best behavior during Blind Pilot's hypnotic 55-minute set. Consequently, I didn't spoil a man's marriage proposal during this song. (She said "yes.")

This rough fan footage reveals the night's sole flaw- insanely inconsiderate chatter from the back of the room. Blind Pilot could use a few more uptempo songs like this to win over the oblivious few.

I'm not sure if I'm strong enough to forsake mercilessly mocking Henry and his love of what I call "NPR rock."

But we'll always have Blind Pilot.

The opening set by Sons of Great Dane was solid, but I was too distracted by the audience's bizarre behavior to give the Kansas City band my full attention. The room was packed, yet everyone excluding myself stood no closer than six feet from the stage. It's as if the entire audience was wearing dog shock collars to avoid an invisible fence. The moment Sons of Great Dane's set ended, the crowd rushed to the lip of the stage.

Even Henry laughed at that lame move.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)


The DLC said...

NPR Rock is a great term!

Happy In Bag said...

I think so, DLC. When I tried to trademark the term I discovered that Neko Case had beat me to it.

brucedene said...

At least now I know who I'm stealing it from.

Happy In Bag said...

That really wasn't very nice of me, BD. For the record, I love Neko Case.