Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tapes 'n Tapes w/ Ladyhawk @ the Abbey Pub, 5/12/07

Tapes 'n Tapes
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
I saw Tapes n' Tapes last year at Schubas, where they were fresh off the release of their excellent album The Loon and on their first national tour. At the time they still seemed to be figuring out how to put on a good show; though they were good, there still seemed to be something missing. I was interested to see if another year of experience had made them more seasoned live musicians.

Opening for Tapes 'n Tapes was Ladyhawk, a southern-tinged rock band from Vancouver. The band had come highly recommended by a fellow Tinymixtapes writer, so I was intrigued to see what they would bring to the musical table. Let me say, I was incredibly impressed. Singer Duffy Driediger's vocals were huge and full of emotion, and the band's longer jams were incredibly intense. Bassist Sean Hawryluk kept whipping his hair all over the place, and even Duffy couldn't help but laugh along with the audience when Sean started doing some back-up "Oohs" with his hair totally covering his face, Cousin It style. My Morning Jacket is an obvious comparison, but Ladyhawk certainly shouldn't be written off as a copycat by any means. I'm definitely getting their album.

Meanwhile, Tapes 'n Tapes' set certainly delivered on my hopes for a more confident and memorable live show; this time around, they seemed to really "rock out" their songs to a level not found on their recorded material, and singer Josh Grier proved himself to be an affable frontman after all. In addition to previewing some new material that showed serious potential, they brought a new passion to tracks from The Loon that I didn't feel last time I saw them, especially during the chorus of my favorite song, "10 Gallon Ascots," which pretty much demands hugeness (and Josh screamed it out appropriately). Meanwhile, "Omaha" showcased keyboardist Matt Kretzman's tuba skills and was probably my favorite song of the night. Since it was the early show, the band skipped an encore, which was fine by me, since I generally dislike encores, and they had pretty much played out all their best material anyway.

My camera battery died halfway through Tapes n' Tapes' performance, so my pics are limited, but are up for perusal.

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