this one long looked like the best of the bowl this summer with a heavyweight, fairly diverse line-up. alright, all hipster fodder but diverse nonetheless. all in all, it didn't disappoint. not everyone carried their weight, but it was a great show regardless.
we missed most of him playing solo. happens far too often since it's hard getting that many people moving quickly and after the booze starts flowing nobody is in much of a hurry anymore. nonetheless, we did catch 2 of his songs and he was better than what i had expected. the duo of his acoustic guitar and mellow voice carried a lot better than i had thought it would at the bowl. i still don't feel like veneer is a stand-out album, but he's a capable performer (if not an exciting one).
oh boy, what can one say about matthew herbert? the man has made entire tracks out of sending a full starbucks latte down the garbage disposal. that'll teach 'em! 4 bucks down the drain my man and you didn't get so much as a caffeine buzz from it, someone in seattle is smiling right now and it's not your aunt myrtle. but i digresss...
herbert started out with a fruity pseudo-electric welcome message. it got better from there. he seems to have returned to his house music roots and cranked out some infectious beats. not bad at all. he brought along a vocalist with him who actually sounded pretty good, however, he was so dispassionate (or maybe terrified?) that it was hard to watch him. both he and herbert were in their finest bathrobes for the event. i understand the desire to do something different; to make a statement versus the iconic rockstar model, however, the robes just looked silly. someone should hook him up with Devo, they could lend his group little plastic pyramid hats so that he can still look silly (and cover up his balding head) without looking completely ridiculous and having to waste a perfectly good bathrobe.
oh, and he did squish a canned frappucino to make scrunchy noises at the start of one song. not surprisingly, it didn't add a lot to the track which ended up being good inspite of the can crunching noises. score: starbucks 2, herbert 0.
i'll have to say i'm completely puzzled by gotan project headlining in front of zero 7. now i could argue all i want based on my opinion, but shall we consult the all seeing Google for the answer of whom should have headlined? observe:
Google hits for Zero 7: 3,870,000
Google Hits for Gotan Project: 1,750,000
That's a 2 million hit difference!? I suspect Gotan Project is really a mafia front of some sort and leaned on 'em to score the top billing in order to legitimize their Sicilian money laundering scheme.
Regardless of the order they played it, it was easy to see who the best of the evening was. zero 7 was stellar, alternating between the best of simple things and the garden. sia started it off with my flame and moved onto distractions from there. she was a star performer, belting out soulful vocals and dancing around the stage jubilantly. the highlights were back-to-back performances of the stand-out tracks from both albums: destinypageant of the bizarre. jose gonzales did a couple tracks and turned in another nice performance but was eclipsed by the obvious charisma and talent of sia. the guys worked the decks and played live instruments capably, they were clearly enjoying themselves up there. all told, great performance!!
nothing really to say here, they sounded good but not great. to be fair, we listened to a few tracks and bailed since jane was not feeling well. i truthfully have a hard time distinguishing many of their tracks from one another-- they have a nice sound but i'm not sure how much range they have or what more they can do with it.
next up: feist in a couple weeks and then paul simon at the greek in october.