Thursday, March 30, 2006

Noise Pop

Show: Noise Pop
Headliner: Britt Daniel of Spoon
Openers: Laura Veirs, Martyn Leaper of The Minders, Meric Long
Location: The Swedish American Hall in San Francisco, CA
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2006
2006 Show #: 6

The Swedish American Hall is up stairs in the same building the Cafe Du Nord is downstairs. Where as Du Nord can get quite rocking, Swedish American Hall is designed for more down tempo things. All the shows I've heard of their were single person acts or solo shows. And this show was no exception. The show featured the one "man" acts of Meric Long and Laura Veirs, and solo sets from Martyn Leaper and Britt Daniel.

The first 2 opening acts, Meric and Martyn, were enjoyable if not super exciting. Both acts made me want to check out more, but neither inspired CD purchases. Meric did have the unique factor when for one song he had a friend join him on stage and play percussion on a chair. First using drum sticks on the chair, but then switching to a tambourine.

Though Britt Daniel headlined, in my opinion Laura Veirs stole the show. As a result, I'll cover Daniels first. He covered a wide variety of stuff, mostly from his work with Spoon. He was impressive in that he showed a willingness to take random requests. Even of songs he didn't think would play well as a solo act. But he put on a fine show, playing for 65 minutes combined main set and encore. The solo versions were interesting takes on the songs, but nothing amazing.

Laura Veirs though was fantastic. She set up and came on 7 minutes after Martyn finished and played a 45 minute set. She mostly uses her voice and guitar for the songs, but in addition she used recorded feedback to harmonize with herself. She'd sing a few bars, get it going in the loop, and then add another layer. Successively doing this, she kept getting her songs to near cacophony, but never going too far with it. It was quite enjoyable to see played live, and her voice is absolutely fantastic.

Her hair was in pigtails, and she had a very child-like nature to her. From her expressions to the jeans she had on, she gave an air of a mature immaturity. It was quite interesting to see. She would occasionally, while doing the harmonization, swing back and forth for no obvious reason. Once she even banged her guitar into the mic stand. It was interesting to see her playful reaction.

The highlight to me was during the song "Spelunking." During this song, she went completely unplugged. She wanted to see how it sound, so she played and sang, and then walked a loop around the room. Her voice and her presence was impressive. It was really neat that my seat was on the end of the row, and when she walked by me she had to lift her guitar up to avoid knocking me on the head. That's what I call fan interaction. I was really impressed, and I'm still really excited. I will definitely see her shows again.


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