Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Show Review: Bowerbirds in Detroit, 7.21.08

I was really nervous about going to see the Bowerbirds last night. I've never gone to a show all by myself, but I wasn't going to miss this one. The Crofoot's shows usually aren't seated, so I wasn't expecting the rows of chairs on the floor when I walked in. It helped to have a place to sit. Sitting is much less awkward than standing around alone.

First I bought one of their Danger at Sea EPs. Actually, first I bought a beer. Then I bought the CD. I'm so glad I got one of those because after this tour they won't be available anymore. The sleeve is hand sewn by the band! It appeals to that 8 year old in the center of me, wrapped up under all my years of wooden rings. It's kind of primitive and special like it belongs on the refrigerator.

Being alone proved to be an advantage when I found a single seat remaining only 3 rows from the stage. It was still light outside and it felt a little like a middle school assembly. They came out and started to play and it was really intimate and beautiful. I was struck most by the parts that had the accordion and the violin playing the same notes. The combination was unexpectedly bright and soaring.

Towards the end of their set, the singer looked up from his guitar and was overwhelmed. The room had filled up for the main act, Bon Iver. "I didn't know there were so many of you...what do I say?" Their accordion player blurted out: "How y'all doin'?" We all cheered. She looked like a dark-haired Anne of Green Gables, with a careless topknot and a vintage dress. The bands' shyness shed a light on my own worries about coming. The music was peaceful, everyone was enjoying it immensely, and best of all, I could completely concentrate on it. I have to start going to shows by myself more often.

On the Let's Trade Muxtape, you can listen to a new Bowerbirds song. They performed it on Daytrotter a while ago, and back then it was untitled. I'm pretty sure last night they said it was called "House of Diamonds". More songs can be heard on their Myspace page. You can buy their latest LP, Hymns for a Dead Horse, at their website.

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