Thursday, November 17, 2011

Show Review: The Sea and Cake w/ Brokeback & Butterflies

The Sea and Cake @ Local 506
Photo Credit: Agatha Donkar

The beginning of a show filled weekend for me, I was stoked to get to see The Sea and Cake and Butterflies coming into this show, however, I walked away with a new found respect and love for the band that was sandwiched in between the two, Brokeback.  This was my first show at Local 506 and I've got to say I thoroughly enjoy the place, I can't say for certain but the show looked to be about sold out.  I had to leave before the end of The Sea and Cake's set if I wanted to have a ride home, but the crowd kept coming so I'd assume they reached capacity, because it was certainly a show worthy of such.  Before the show I'd shot Bottom String Sessions with both Mandolin Orange and Sinful Savage Tigers and spent about two and a half hours inside of an incredibly busy Four Corners on the day of UNC's spectacle of a first game played on a gigantic boat.  It was...uhm...something.  I'm not big on college sports so lets just say that I wasn't into all of the fanfare but whatever floats your boat.  Plus, "gopack".

Anyway, I got 506 right as doors opened and watched the place gradually fill up throughout Butterflies' set and by the time we were halfway through Brokeback the place was almost impossible to get through.  Butterflies opened up and jumped right in with a few standouts from their latest album, "Residual Child" but nicely mixed in some older tracks as well.  One of the things I love about seeing local acts like Butterflies is just spotting all of the supportive friends and triangle band members that come out to these shows, it's heart warming to see the community come together, it really is.  Enough with the sentimental stuff though, Butterflies had Joah Tunnell on guitar for this show and he didn't seem to miss a step throughout the set and meshed together well with the rest of the band.  Butterflies always put on an enjoyable set, it's a shame I don't get to see them more than I do.

As I said before, Brokeback was the talk of the night for me.  I came into it knowing little to nothing of the band, assuming they'd be similar in style to The Sea and Cake and Butterflies, which sometimes is nice.  This was one of those cases.  Brokeback wove together intricate melodies into one wall of occasionally minimalistic post-rock goodness.  I say occasionally because sometimes these guitar or bass lines that stood at the core of the song were simplistic, but they were almost entrancing in the same sense.  Brokeback's set seemed to last a wee bit long despite their excellent sound, maybe it was due to my excitement for The Sea and Cake though.  Sometimes I feel like I need a bit more out of a post-rock act's stage presence though, so that could always be accredited to it as well.

After Brokeback the place was almost packed from front to back with fans waiting for the highly acclaimed rockers of The Sea and Cake.  The crowd's energy was palpable whilst waiting for The Sea and Cake, fans were getting antsy and that's always something that brightens the mood for a performance.  As the band went on and powered through their first handful of songs I began to realize the frequent obsessions found with this band, they've got a firm sense of direction musically and they stick to it.  They've built their textures, they've plotted out their structures, and while some of their songs do seem as if they're formulaic it all pans out in the end because they're still following a damn fine formula.  I got to stay for about seven songs of the set before I had to leave and catch my ride, but the parts of The Sea and Cake that I caught were joyous.  As I began to mention to everyone throughout the week that I'd be going to The Sea and Cake I heard all of the fans freaking out with jealousy and quite frankly didn't get what all of the fuss was about, but this was a live experience that changed that.  They're spot on with their performances and seem to ooze with a sense of truly being happy to be on stage, something that you don't get from many bands these days.  Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on next week's Around The Triangle for some live video of the show!

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