5/11 Elvis Perkins @ The Parish

ep_03On a quiet Monday evening, The Parish continued its recent tradition of well-produced shows as they put on a solid bill, with ATH favorites Other Lives and Elvis Perkins joined by his new band Dearland, supplying the talent. An orchestral grab bag of instrumentation ranging from cellos to trombones, to flutes, a harmonium and organs were laid upon the stage foreshadowing an ambitious evening of unpolluted musical ability in front of a very attentive audience.  Follow the jump to continue reading our review.

Other Lives, from Stillwater, OK, were coming to Austin on the heels of their recent self-titled gem, which has been one the few great surprises of the year. They started their roughly 50 minute set with the pounding rhythms of ‘Don’t Let Them’ followed by the epic, meticulous construction of ‘End of the Year’. The sorrowful but hopeful lyricist Jesse Tabish’s words floated around the venue as a diminutive breeze until the reverberations built to a full embodied gust with Jenny Hu’s deep hearty cello wavering in and out. Tonight’s was a great short set with several choice tracks from the new record and a succulent Leonard Cohen cover ‘The Partisan’.  If not seen live, Other Lives should be enjoyed like  a fine wine, savored drop by drop with good conversion from  a  few close friends  and low lighting. If alone, a good pair of headphones will be your best friend. As will the wine.

Elvis Perkins has been, for some time now, one of my favorite acts. After witnessing their free SXSW show at Auditorium Shores back in March, missing this show was not an option. The lanky, mournful, yet optimistic troubadour, Perkins (son of actor Anthony Perkins and photographer Berinthia Berenson) came out all alone and began the set with ‘1,2,3 Goodbye’ a heart wrenching and powerful ode to lost love and friendship. Slowly, his accompanying trio known as Dearland assembled on stage and an expectant gleam of hope shined in Perkin’s eye and they rode the wave into ‘Heard Your Voice in Dresden’, one of my personal favorites from the new record. Perkins and Co. treated us to some golden oldies as well including such gems from the critically acclaimed Ash Wednesday, as ‘Emile’s Vietnam in the Sky’ and ‘May Day’. ‘Hey’, with drummer Nick Kinsey flailing around on the strap-on bass and splash cymbal, got the seated crowd’s feet stomping and a lone dancer began to enjoy her moment in the spotlight.

Jenny Hu from Other Lives joined the band on stage for ‘Hour’s Last Stand’ and it was remarkable how well the cello paired with Josh Onstott on the stand up bass played by bow. The single ‘Shampoo’ which continues to be a standout from the new self-titled record, and for good reason, brought the set to a close and was well received.  After a quick break, Perkin’s emerged and played a solo version of ‘Without Love’, followed by crowd favorite ‘While You Were Sleeping” as the band joined in one by one in a layering effect.  The last song of the night was the barn-burner, ‘Doomsday’ which brought Other Lives out and finally got the crowd on its feet dancing with the resonance of a New Orleans funeral march.   This end of the world anthem is the kind of tone I hope to be hearing if the world were to end. It is due to this kind of satirical, hopeful charge on a mournful subject that Elvis Perkins is becoming well known.  A fantastic performance by all accounts, respectful audiences, in an intimate setting; undoubtedly lead to success. Well done!

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