Where: Amos’ Southend, Charlotte, NC
When: April 26, 2011
They were billed as the opening act for the usually mellow Iron and Wine, but I must admit I was a little more excited to see The Low Anthem than Sam Beam and his band. I discovered this little band in 2009 when I picked up their album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. It was one of those rare moments with music when you connect with an album on the first listen. And while I was not as instantly in love with their new album Smart Flesh, it has grown on me and I think it is a really solid piece of work.
I think what makes this band special is the otherworldliness of their sound. The deep hum of clarinets paired with the echoes of violin strings and Ben Knox Miller’s haunting vocals makes for a distinct sound indeed.
The concert was at Amos’ Southend, and feeling shamed for always speaking so badly about the place, I really did try to like it when I went this time. I did not succeed. Despite my frustration with the venue for reasons I won’t get in to, I did manage to get a really good spot to enjoy the show.
The band played around 8 songs in their set, starting with their softer tunes and moving into more boisterous songs like their new single “Boeing 747.”
I am going to be brutally honest now, and you can only be brutally honest when something is important to you: I was completely disappointed by this band’s live show. They seemed like they were going through the motions with very little interaction with the audience and zero stage presence. For a band whose album is so painfully beautiful, I felt nothing watching them.
Now granted, the chatty crowd did not help the situation. And maybe Amos’ was just the wrong venue for this type of act, but whatever the case I was a little embarrassed by how much I had touted this band to my friends after seeing their live show.
I consider myself a forgiving person though and I know that everyone has off days, so I will see if this band that I love so much can redeem themselves when they open for Mumford and Sons in June. Fingers crossed!
Here are a couple of videos I took from the show. To see all of the videos, head over to my YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/charlottebeth84