6/15 – Camera Obscura @ Antones
Usually a show we’re interested in attending rarely goes the route of Antones, but a venue known for its pristine seemed like the exact place one would want to witness the soaring sounds of Camera Obscura. We set out with open minds, looking forward to hearing some of our favorite tracks of the year live. Follow the jump to read more and see some fancy pics.
Anni Rossi opened the evening accompanied by nothing else other than her violin. Armed to the teeth with a an angelic voice, though reminiscent of the childish innocence the like of Joanna Newsom, she calmed the crowd from the minute she took to the stage. Unfortunately, her voice and violin alone, though quite special, just didn’t seem to hold up to the task at hand. Unlike Final Fantasy, who utilizes drum loops to go along with his violin, Rossi just seemed to fall a bit short. Still, we found her and her voice to be quite charming.
Another disenchanting moment that came with Antones, and the set as a whole, was made apparent during the violinist’s set. Apparently, despite from the extremely rude door lady, Antones is also host to some of the most annoying crowd talkers we’ve come across. Really. Some girl spent the entire Camera Obscura set talking about getting her nails done. And one guy kept shouting that they ripped the songs off. Sorry for the aside, but really, people in this town should really be respectful of others’ listening preferences.
Finally, Tracyanne took to the stage, and we couldn’t take our eyes off her for the rest of the night. As long as the band has been around, she actually seems comfortable with everything as it is nowadays, which is not the persona she’s always seemed to manifest on stage. Still, the night was truly hers, even with the lovely Carey to her right. Perhaps it’s the evolution of her voice, which now seems stronger than ever; regardless, we danced and swayed with Tracyanne the entire night.
The set seemed a touch on the short side, coming under just half an hour, but you can’t play every song. Still, the band managed to pull from their entire catalogue, with the majority of the songs coming off Let’s Get Out of This Country and the recent My Maudlin Career. They opened the evening with a few straight tracks off the new record like “French Navy” before going off into efforts further back. It was the middle of the set where the band seemed to hit their stride; they played “Let’s Get Out of This Country” followed by “James”, two of their finest tracks.
One of the remarkable moments in the evening came when Tracyanne took it upon her to carry the entire band with her quiet rendition of “Books Written for Girls” off of Underachievers Please Try Harder. The song is one of the simpler songs in the Camera Obscura catalogue, but here the understated beauty echoed in the silent room as Campbell won every single person over with her phenomenal performance from atop the stage. And then they walked off, only to return for the now cliche “encore” set.
Our evening would end on a high note, as we were treated to “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken” followed by “Razzle Dazzle Rose.” Each song resonated perfectly, once again demonstrating that despite various faults such as rude staff (I saw a soundguy mock Anni Rossi during her set), the sound at Antones is of spectacular quality. These two songs were taken to an entirely different level, and then it was done.
The group hasn’t sounded as good since they’ve been playing in Austin, so if you have the chance to catch them on remaining dates, we suggest you do so, for the evening was rather enjoyable for all in attendance; even the girl who is getting her nails done tomorrow.
Photos provided by the fabulous Eric Uhlir. Check out some of his other fine work on flickr.