Monday, March 3, 2008

Noise Pop's Final Night: She And Him @ GAMH

Let us start off by saying this: Noise Pop, why did you need to go all a/v fascist on us? No photos? Really? We barely got 3 photos off before we were told to put away the camera or it would be confiscated. Such a disappointment. Sorry, just had to get that off the proverbial chest. Now, onward. (Update: Pitchfork got a photo pass.)

This evening's inaugural She and Him gig was decidedly more "she" than "him". Perhaps it was to be expected, but we'd be lying if we didn't say that we wished Matt Ward had gotten front and center a bit more frequently. That being said, what we did get was a tight hour long set of music squarely focused on Zooey Deschanel's voice, and the new album coming out in two weeks.

That focus was completely appropriate, as the leading lady's voice was in top form. She gave solid delivery of all the material, and even hit some notes that shocked us with their directness and impact. It helped significantly that she was backed by Ward and his standard touring band: they held together an extremely tight combo for Deschanel to rely upon throughout the night.

This evening was also the first opportunity we've had to hear all of the material off of the new album, and assess Zooey's songwriting skillz. In general the material was solid, with a definite 60's throwback vibe. There was a certain similarity amongst many of the songs, which started to wear thin towards the end of the set, but in general it was a catchy and accessible set of new tunes. In addition to the new material, the band also covered Ward's "Magic Trick", as well as "You've Really Got A Hold On Me", "Bring It On Home To Me", and "I Put A Spell On You".

Perhaps the only really notable downside to the night's performance was that Deschanel was a bit noticeably (and understandably) awkward and reserved in her stage presence. It seemed like she wasn't quite sure what to do with herself at times, and a bit nervous about the whole thing. Still, for a band's first show, in a packed auditorium on the final night of a major music festival, you can't really blame her. We're pretty sure it'll smooth out over time.

She And Him's self titled album is out on Merge Records March 18th.


Andrea said...

Yeah, I got seriously hassled at the Cursive show for photos too. Even the guy next to me - who had a giant yellow pass stuck on his chest, got hassled multiple times throughout the show.