Where: Snug Harbor, Charlotte, NC
When: January 22, 2011
I like having concert weekends. The more you can cram into Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the better. After seeing Those Darlins on Friday, I went back to Snug Harbor on Saturday to hear the much lauded Lost in the Trees.
I’ve done a lot of research on this band, and it seems that the only common denominator is lead singer/composer Ari Picker. The rest of the band has been made up of something like 20 of Picker’s friends who weave in and out of the band as they like.
Picker put together his band of misfits while studying film scoring at Berklee College of Music. And it’s easy to see where his flair for the dramatics has crept into the compositions of Lost in the Trees’ debut LP All Alone in an Empty House. The strings are dark and mysterious, menacing even some times, but the folk elements of the music provide an overall comforting effect.
The variation of the band I saw was comprised of two cellists, a violinist, an accordionist/vocalist, a drummer and Picker on lead vocals/guitar. This was a sound the likes of which the punk/rock-in-roll venue, Snug Harbor had never heard.
Picker opened the set with vocalist/accordionist Emma Nadeau in a very stark minimalist style. It was a bit shocking to hear Picker’s first few notes burst out amidst the crowd of Pabst Blue Ribbons and decorations of stars and tinsel. His clear and haunting voice, reminiscent of Damien Rice, made for a theatrical backdrop to the other five band members’ parade onto the stage as a giant white dragon. Yep, it was about as weird as it sounds.
The stage show may have been a little over the top. The girls, who all wore dark clothing, glittery eye makeup, and feathers in their hair, were force feeding us their caricatures of woodland sprites.
Yeah, yeah, yeah…we get it; you are “lost in the trees”.
But I have no complaints other than the theatrics. I found the band to be one of those rare treasures that sound even better live. Their harmonies were lovely and the string instruments absolutely breathtaking. The band certainly warrants the hype surrounding them.
Pardon the darkness of the videos. Snug Harbor is 99% bar/ 1% concert hall, so dark lighting prevails. Also please pardon the drunk guy beside me who sang/talked the entire time.
Walk Around the Lake
Lovely instrumental while Picker fixes a broken guitar string