Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Michael Zapruder Played Bottom Of The Hill - Pictures, Review

Sunday night at Bottom Of The Hill Michael Zapruder delivered on the promise of his latest record Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope. Accompanied by bass, keyboards, violin, and a woodwind multi-instrumentalist, Zapruder quite successfully managed to recreate the intricate feel and sound that permeates the record. Zapruder effortlessly led the quintet through the set, while at the same time delivering an incredibly solid performance himself on vocals and guitar duties.

One of the most striking aspects of the performance was that Zapruder seems completely at home on stage. From the second he stepped on, not only was he relaxed and jovial, but he had a clear sense of confidence about the songs and where the arrangements were headed. This was no small feat considering that there were five parts going strong at any given time, and a fair number of less-than-standard song structures. Even the chaotic and fluttering instrumental breaks of "Ads For Feelings" managed to come across as completely composed and solid.

The only part of the show we would have changed was the absence of any sort of percussion. While the record doesn't have a huge preponderance of percussive elements, the beats do drive a number of the songs, and it wouldn't have hurt to pick things up just a tad in the live environment. Even perhaps just a drum machine or some canned beats where necessary might have been just the ticket to keep some of the songs true to their upbeat origins.

That being said, our favorite moment of the show was one of the most serene. At the end of the set Zapruder played a solo rendition of the fantastic song "Harbor Saints" that absolutely hit home. The song's sweet simple melody served to close out the rainy night with a gentle coda that served to perfectly illustrate not only Zapruder's fantastic voice, but his gift for composition as well. We're looking forward to hearing what comes next.

Michael Zapruder is headed to the East coast for three dates next week.


afroyoursamurai said...

Michael really likes to change things up for the live shows. I wonder which instruments he'll take with him to the east coast.

kata said...

I would've gone to this but I saw Far at Slims instead. They rocked the house as usual.

Anonymous said...

I wish that I could have been at the show. Michael Zapruder always has a great show.