Sunday, October 28, 2007

About Last Night: Caribou @ Slim's

Having spent the better part of the last month listening to Caribou's new disc Andorra, I was quite pumped for last night's show at Slim's. It seemed like a great combo: fantastic band with a great new album, intimate venue, and a live act that had been quite hyped on its cross country travels. A lot of that did wind up to be true: the band's live act is incredibly solid and well orchestrated, and the crowd at Slim's was psyched to be seeing the band in such an intimate setting. To my ears, unfortunately, the band just wasn't hitting the sonic heights achieved on record.

Specifically, one of the biggest pieces of Andorra that has really grabbed me is all the synth and vocal layers. They contribute to make the record have its distinctively eerie combination of 60's pop and experimental rock. They lend a lot of the character that makes the record stand out from the crowd. Last night both were conspicuously low in the mix. Moreover, much of the synth work that was present was driven by a laptop, rather than played live. While I realize that it's a necessary evil at times, it's still always a disappointment to realize you're not getting something completely "live".

Ultimately, the band did deliver an inspired, energetic, drums/bass/guitar combo, with a kickass light show to boot. It's just that something about the performance left me feeling a bit empty, and like I'd rather go home and flip on the record. Maybe I'll do just that.

More photos at the H.A.D. flickr feed.