Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pickwick and Grand Falconer @ Neurolux (6/22/12)

I've been looking forward to this show since I first heard about it.  One of my favorite Treefort groups returning after a mere three months?  Of course I was gonna check it out!

I got down to Neurolux at a little after 7:30 pm.  Even though showtime was advertised as 8 (which, in rock and roll time, translates into 8:30-40), it seemed prudent to get there well ahead of time.  Boy, was I right: the place was jam-packed by the time that Pickwick hit the stage.  The large audience was fantastic, though I wished that the people closer to the bar had shut the hell up during the opener.

Local band Grand Falconer opened the show.  On their Facebook page, they list their genre as "Indie/Folk/Rock."  The "folk" part comes not so much from their songcraft as from their choice of instruments (acoustic guitar, banjo, accordion, cello).  Take those out of the equation, you'd have a straightforward indie-rock band.  A very good one, I should add--ethereal melodies, warm lead vocals, pensive lyrics, gorgeous three-part harmonies, driving bass, Edge-y electric guitar, steady-rocking drums.

After Grand Falconer came Pickwick.  I wrote in my Treefort Top 10 post how their recorded material had started to leave me cold after a few listens.  Seeing them live again makes me think that my problem had to do not with their songs as much as with their EP's slightly chilly production.  From their playful, self-deprecating banter to their transported, Mussel Shoals-worthy groove, there definitely wasn't anything cold about their stage presence.  And good God almighty, what a singer that Galen Disston is!  It's not just the faultless pitch, the spine-tingling power or the dreamy falsetto, it's the brain that puts it all together.  The man can find the sweet spots to a song, and he knows how to hit them just right.  He proved himself worthy of the Marvin Gaye and Al Green that played on the PA system before the show.

By the time that Pickwick played their encore, my skin felt sticky from all the body heat.  The crowd had grown positively ecstatic: they danced, clapped, screamed, waved their hands in the air.  Disston shook and jumped and shouted as the band hit overdrive.  This was easily one of the greatest shows I've seen this year.  I only wish that I could've gotten some pictures of Disston jumping off the stage and crowd-surfing.

You can find info about Grand Falconer and Pickwick on Facebook and elsewhere online.

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