Guess who finally remembered to take her camera to a concert and thus can use her own pictures instead of scrounging ones from Flickr? Yay! On the other hand, I’m still working on finding the best camera settings for low light conditions, so… Still. MINE.
Before Bishop Allen, though, were three opening bands, all of which I enjoyed. First up was The One AM Radio, who actually started before I got in (whole ticket fiasco which was not as much of an issue as I thought it was going to be, but caused me to be in the wrong line – won’t get into it). I was in line with a bunch of people who knew the keyboardist/backup singer, so that was cool. For a little while I felt almost part of the Silverlake scene. Speaking of the Silverlake/Echo Park music scene, the Echo is a great venue. It’s the perfect size, with a good bar (and food, apparently, though I didn’t eat there) and a really great vibe. The bands were wandering around before, during, and after the show, so it felt really casual and intimate. Okay, back to the show. I’d actually heard of The One AM Radio before; they have a track on the compilation CD “Give. Listen. Help.” (available from Urban Outfitters; almost all of the proceeds go to children’s cancer research), which I really enjoyed. Their newest album (from 2007) is called This Too Will Pass, available from Amazon CD and MP3. I apologize for the blurryness of the photo. First one I took, and I was still testing flash vs. no-flash. (Flash is better, FYI.)
The One AM Radio – Old Men
Then came The Electric Owls, which turned out to be one guy – but I think there are sometimes more of them in the band? I wasn’t really clear on that. Anyway, he could pick a mean guitar, and he sorta reminded me a little bit of Glen Hansard, except not Irish. I didn’t have a good angle from where I was at the time, so no pictures of him.
And I REALLY liked the third opening band, An Horse. Not only because they’re from Australia, though I admit that’s part of it. Kate Cooper, the singer/guitarist, was adorable and funny. She bantered more between songs than most. “We’re from Australia, which I’ve just been told is right next to Switzerland. It isn’t really. It’s actually a whole other planet in the solar system.” The other band member, Damon Cox, played the drums and sang backup. Sort of a Mates of State sort of thing, except with guitar instead of keyboards. I wanted to pick up a CD or something of theirs, but didn’t see any on the merch table as I went out. I must’ve missed them. Their album Not Really Scared is available on iTunes, or as an import from Amazon, but that’s way more expensive.
An Horse – Scared as F**k (sorry for the title, but it is the best song, and the one containing the album’s title)
Then Bishop Allen! I will say that I finally know how annoying it was for fans of The Shins when Garden State came out and suddenly there were a lot more Shins fans based solely on their inclusion in the film. Not that I object to bands gaining more fans, and in fact, I’ll admit I’m a Garden State Shins fan. But now I feel an irrational, overly defensive need to declare that I was a Bishop Allen fan long before they were featured in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and in fact, went to see the film in no small part because of Bishop Allen’s involvement. There, done being defensive. Sorry about that.
Anyway. They had an issue with Darbie’s mic, so after futzing with it for a while, they finally had to make do with one less mic than usual, which meant that bassist Keith kept having to run over to guitarist Christian’s mic whenever he was needed for backup vocals. :) In his tour blog, he complained about tripping over cables, but assuming he wasn’t actually hurt, it ended up being rather more amusing than not.
They did a great mix of songs from The Broken String and the various EPs they’ve put out – last year, they tested the limits of prolificness by putting out an EP every month. And succeeded. I should’ve picked up some of those, but being faced by all 12 EPs on the merch table was a little overwhelming. And did a couple of new songs from the album they’re working on now. Yay new stuff! After the briefest pre-encore break ever, they finished it all up with the Darbie-led “Butterfly Nets” (which was the first song that made me a fan). And it was good. And then I mostly copped out of a review by mostly posting photos.
Bishop Allen – The Same Fire (from “June EP”)
Bishop Allen – The Monitor (from “The Broken String”)
Bishop Allen – Butterfly Nets (from “The Broken String”)
(Amazon.com MP3 has all the tracks from the EP Project available in two sets, but they were originally released as twelve 4-song EP CDs. Check out the Bishop Allen store page to see the original covers, designed by Darbie.)