Monday, May 10, 2010

Caribou and Toro Y Moi Played Bowery Ballroom - Pictures and Review

Caribou hasn't truly been on tour in about three years, and this weekend it was clear that New York has been eagerly awaiting their return. Saturday night we caught up with Dan Snaith & Co. at Bowery Ballroom as they played to a (long) sold out crowd. Suffice it to say that those who had been eagerly awaiting the show were not disappointed. The Canadian band delivered a blazing set that called upon both their latest record Swim, as well as their earlier catalog.

The show opened with South Carolina trio Toro Y Moi. A friend had told us to make sure and get there early to catch their set, and we were truly glad we did. They delivered a set that sonically tipped its hat to a wide variety of references, from early 80's hip hop, to Animal Collective, to synth pop, to Caribou themselves. Despite all these references, the band unquestionably managed a sound that was distinctly their own.

The crowd was unquestionably appreciative of the tunage, and Toro Y Moi received not only a vigorous response, but also managed to get a large portion of the crowd jumping and dancing. Moreover, the band delivered an encore - almost unheard of for an opener. The set was dynamic, musically interesting, and yet completely accessible: in other words, exactly what you want out of a band. We dug the set, and picked up the record after the show - we recommend you do the same.

Caribou followed soon thereafter, hitting the stage at eleven o'clock. The stage setup was similar to what we've seen in the past, with Dan Snaith behind a console of drums, keyboards, and guitar, and the other three members providing a solid base of guitar, bass, and drums. The band is back in their original configuration, with drummer Brad Weber apparently all recovered from his broken wrist of a few years back.

The crowd was unquestionably stoked for the show, and in particular demonstrated a real appetite for the band's new record, which featured heavily in the set. Weber's drumming was in top form, as was the band as a whole: It's incredible to us that they somehow manage to deliver the intricacies of Snaith's records in a live set, but the technical aptitude is so high, you simply let it fly right by you.

The material from Swim fared particularly well in the live environment, with it's dancey beats enhanced by the frenetic experience of both the crowd's presence and the band's live dynamics. In particular, a simply massive version of "Sun" was the highlight of the show. The music was complemented (but not overshadowed) by a flurry of psychedelic effects, many of which drew upon Swim's cover art for inspiration.

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Caribou is simply a band that you must see live. Without a doubt, they make some fantastic and beautiful records, but in a live environment, those records make a leap that simply must be heard to be believed. Dan Snaith has assembled a team of musicians who flawlessly deliver his sonic vision, and if this weekend's show was any indication, the people are more than ready for it.

Many more pictures in the HAD Archive


Chris Goldberg said...

Great pics! It was a fantastic show. I agree that "Sun" was the (unexpected) highlight. "Bowls" might be my favorite instrumental track of 2010 and it was definitely better live!