Mountain Man stopped by Off Broadway, delivering a triple-layered vocal set teetering between haunting sparseness and beautiful harmony.
Sleeping In Sundays was a pleasant surprise, but judging by the empty floor it was one unfortunately one missed by most. A nice addition to the quieter side of the local scene, Eric Williger’s hushed vocals over guitar and field recordings set a nice mood for what was to come later that evening.
The Blind Nils seemed much more uptempo than I recalled from their prior show with The Lighthouse and the Whaler, with Adam Hajari (whom I didn’t recognize non-bearded) adding some enjoyable aggression to the alt-county trio this time around. Certainly an enjoyable local act to have on the bill and they strangely turned out to be the loudest band that evening. On a related note, Cassie Morgan is the featured artist in the new issue of Inflatable Ferret with photography done by Nate Burrell.
I missed Mountain Man when they last came through with Jonsi (and I guess 1/3rd of the group when they more recently came through as Bobby with Thao and Mirah), but read enough positive acclaim for the Vermont trio to make sure that I didn’t miss them this time. It was definitely a different concert experience. The crowd hushed and a good number seated themselves on the venue floor. A lone guitar was occasionally passed around, but Mountain Man constructed their compelling songs with nothing else but vocals. Cellphones stayed in pockets and side conversations ceased as the crowd’s attention was transfixed on the three women on stage. If I’m making it sound like a serious affair, I assure you it was still a fun show, with Amelia asking the crowd to make jungle animal sounds in lieu of clapping and Alexandra getting a surprise birthday cake mid-set. To sample what you missed, check out this video of “Come All Yee.”
The Good: Amelia’s twirled hair. Charleville Half-Wit Wheat. New $2 parking lot across the street.
The Bad: No saw playing during the Blind Nils set. Squeaky shoes at a show as quiet as this one. Your quads the next day after having to squat so you don’t get in the way of seated concert goers.
The Irrelevant: While looking in Spotify to sample some Mountain Man albums, I found out there’s a hardcore band with the same name. I smell potential collaboration!