British Indie folk band Noah and the Whale lit up west-side Salt Lake City Thursday night with over an hour of “fun, fun, fun” and a generally- rocking time. The club-turned-music-hall “In the Venue” provided an up-close-and-personal experience with a band known mostly for light lyrics and jovial fiddling, yet whose depth continued to impress me as the night wore on.
Starting-tunes such as “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Love of an Orchestra” soon gave way to somber, more melancholy melodies that accompanied slower beats and heart-felt lyrics. Those familiar with the Scottish Indie band “Frightened Rabbit” and American Indie rock band “The National” would recognize a similar depth of emotion that only profound lyrics and minor chords/keys can convey. It was a beautiful experience with a band that makes beautiful music.
There was a draw back, though, which at least came from the audience and not from the band, and that is that the biggest cheer from the audience came for “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N”, the first official single released from their new album, Last Night on Earth (March ’11). The song is by far the most popular off of their new CD, which I had actually never heard and up to this point, of the concert that is, had impressed me with the breadth of sound.
The opening beat reminded me of something I would hear on SLC’s 97.1, the kind of music made to make money instead of made to express and convey emotion. I immediately turned to my buddy and expressed this sentiment as swarms of teenagers gleefully danced and swayed to the jaded beats of past and present ‘hits.’ I guess I sometimes would like to forget that the music industry is, well, just that; I would prefer for music to be something individually experienced and thus varying in our likes/dislikes. Needless to say, and hence the need for this website, I was/am sorely disappointed.
But in order to maintain a positive tone on this review, 2 thumbs up for Noah and the Whale. They put on a great show in a venue that probably wasn’t meant for them, going so far as to say, “It was a 24 hour long bus ride from Vancouver, but I can tell you it was really worth it” and “You’re probably one of the best audiences we’ve ever had” (don’t quote him on it, ‘cuz the current city is always the best, right??!!). Their new CD is generally impressive, carrying on a great quality of work and continuing to expand the range of this particular Indie band.
For those true Indie lovers, Bahamas opened the show with half an hour of good roots Indie music. The Canadian musician gave off a great vibe and a had a great performance to boot.
To Bahamas, great opening, and to Noah and the Whale, fantastic finish.