Friday, May 09, 2008

Margot & the Nuclear So & So’s/Cameron McGill/Jentri Colello; May 9, 2008; Orpheum Stage Door

I love Margot, I’ve seen them several times and always find them to be an entertaining and ridiculously energetic live band; usually my only complaint is that they don’t play long enough. I did not love Margot tonight, and honestly, I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

They took a long time to set up, with seven people that’s to be expected, but from the first song it seemed off, as though some of the instruments were on split second delay. I am pretty sure it wasn’t the instruments that were off, but their players. Lead singer Richard Edwards always seems just drunk enough to loosen up for the show, tonight he seemed a little too loose. Hell, let’s just call it loaded, his between song banter was often unintelligible. Even percussionist Casey Tennis, usually a live wire of dancing, banging and flailing seemed subdued. The new songs which I had enjoyed at the end of the year at Schubas sounded messy and old songs sounded uninspired and sloppy. Eventually we retreated to the balcony, where I may have even fallen asleep. It was a disappointing train wreck of a show.

Middle act Cameron McGill and What Army were more notable for their fashion sense and for a few rude audience members than they were for their music. Although occasionally melodramatic and flamboyant, McGill’s Tweedy via Bowie music (which I guess is essentially Ryan Adams) was undeniably catchy. Too bad so many other factors distracted from it. The most obvious was his outfit (in this case I can absolutely call what he was wearing an outfit) which was probably supposed to come off as thrift store chic seemed decidedly calculated, just another part of his image. The presence of uber-fancy boy Noah Harris on keyboards and guitar did nothing to dispel the notion. Even so, that was far from the most annoying thing about their set. No, the most annoying thing was the trio of girls standing behind us talking as loud as they could. In a mostly silent room I guarantee everyone heard their conversation. When Scott Gordon and I write our book “Concert Etiquette for Dummies” it will definitely be only available in hardcover. So we can hit people with it.

Thank god for Jentri Colello, if not for her this night would have been a complete waste, and I would have found myself wishing I was at the Avett Brothers instead. Though she still doesn’t seem entirely comfortable on stage (her distracted manner is actually endearing), her stunning voice and lovely melodies are impressively mature and complex. Smart songs like “Cannonballs” and the darkly beautiful “Daises” get better every time I hear them. My new favorite is a song so obviously about a break-up with her current boyfriend, the chorus proclaims “this is not my fault,” that I feel uncomfortable when he is in the room. The fact that he wore a bathrobe to the show tonight proves nothing makes him uncomfortable. Though their far opening set was far too short at 35 minute, it was still the best half hour of the night. Thanks Jentri.

No comments: