Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar @ Lincoln Hall

Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar played tracks from their recent collaboration, the Jack Kerouac inspired, "One Fast Move or I'm Gone" to a sold out crowd at Lincoln Hall last night. The two met after contributing to the new Kerouac movie of the same title. The pair decided to make 12 songs based exclusively on Kerouac's work and the result is dark folk album with occasional shades of country and blues. Opening with "California Zephyr" the mood was set early as an attentive audience let the band accent and expand the material. Throughout the set, both singers split vocal duties and hopped onto keyboards when needed. Despite both being accomplished artists, the secret weapon of the night was in fact Mark Spencer who played a gorgeous slide guitar and spooky keyboard during "Breathe Our Iodine", the chugging, gritty highlight of the show. Being a huge fan of Ben (and Death Cab For Cutie) I was ecstatic when he chose to add "An Open Letter" to the set, a hidden gem he wrote with Styrofoam.

As far as the venue, Lincoln Hall showed the growing pains of a place that has been open for only 2 weeks. Although I would definitely purchase tickets to another act there, it does come with a disclaimer. If you choose to see a band perform there, get there early and on the floor. The second floor is nothing more than a railing around the top with limited viewing at best. It got so disappointing and crowded, some people chose to leave the show after not being admitted to the floor and unable to see from the second floor. At one point I was told that if I went to the bathroom, which is outside the floor area, that I might not be permitted back inside. Thankfully a manager came over and did his best to assist people trying to get back to friends, but it lead to a few headaches and complaints. I kind of have to wonder if the owners of Schuba's may have bitten off more than they can chew by trying to make an upgraded edition of Schuba's. The stage was awkwardly large which lost a bit of the intimacy, but I'm sure the venue will eventually find its' image and atmosphere.

The posted song is from their recent appearance on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic", one of the best radio shows in the country.
One Fast Move by theearlynerd

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