Monday, February 20, 2012

Breathe Owl Breathe and Laura Gibson Live Review (Kilby Court)

I've been thinking about how I am going to write this review and honestly I am not sure. I don't think anyone really knew what they were in for with Breathe Owl Breathe, especially after the local more mellow coffee shop kind of act and I don't mean that in a bad way because he was very good.

Breathe Owl Breathe is a very unique band with a unique sound, which can be described as folk music, but at times is often more pop like and at times eccentric. It is actually fairly experimental, which I like. Anyways, the three members of Breathe Owl Breathe (Micah Middaugh, Trevor Hobbs, Andrea Moreno Beals) took the stage and from the start were very energetic. Middaugh paused in-between songs to narrate the show, telling the crowd to imagine "hearts made of paper-mache", "dragons with good penmanship," "and pen pals." He was often jumping around and trying to play the role of two characters while singing. I often caught Moreno-Beals (on cello) often smiling or even chuckling at his actions.

Before I write anymore, I should describe their album "The Listeners: The Mole & The Ostrich" briefly. Middaugh created a book, which is illustrated, carved, and printed himself. Im the Middle of the book is where you will find the vinyl. Apparently the idea was to have something you could read or look at while listening to the album. It really is one of the most creative albums I have ever seen. So, with that being said, watching the show was very similar to this concept. Aside from the imagery, the band was in incredibly good spirits often thanking the crowd. The sound was very on point with Middaugh on guitar, keys, and a few other instruments unknown to me. Beals played cello and at times banjo, which she claimed not to be that good at even though it sounded great along with her beautiful voice. And of course, the drums played by Hobbs brought it all together. I would highly recommend seeing them live at the next opportunity or at least give their albums a listen.

Laura Gibson

Breathe Owl Breathe did a nice job setting the mood for Laura Gibson, who is on tour for her critically acclaimed new album La Grande. With plenty of charm, Laura Gibson took the stage, accompanied by three other who made up her backing band. The band consisted of bass, drums, keys, and of course Gibson on lead vocals and guitar.

She opened with her hit single "La Grande," which immediately drew the crowd in. Although, it wasn't until the more upbeat "Skin, Warming Skin" that I noticed audience was really into it. I couldn't stop thinking about how on point everything was, from the instruments to vocals. The vocals were nothing shy of amazing. Gibson often spoke to the crowd, at one
point apologizing that it was taking her so long to tune her acoustic guitar. She played a few songs solo before the band returned to finish the set. A few times she asked if the fire was still going outside, which it was. For the last song she asked everyone to meet her outside for one more and around the fire, sang "The Rushing Dark," with help from the audience to end the show. From a personal standpoint, this was another one of those shows I went into with little expectation and walked away with something.

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