5/18 The Dears @ The Parish
The ATH crew rushed from prior arrangements to get to The Parish on Monday in order to catch a good evening with some of Canada’s finest, along with one of California’s best. It was a great show for a Monday night and all bands involved wowed the crowd. Follow the jump to read our thoughts on the show and see some sweet pics.
Unfortunately, Eulogies were asked to start right at the time doors were advertised so we missed the majority of their set, which is disappointing, as we love their new album. We caught up with the guys after their set to apologize, and they were both kind and enthusiastic about their performance (and our tardiness).
The Great Northern hit up the stage shortly after with their power-pop melodies that reminded some of the female-fronted college rock of the mid-90s. They delivered a promising set with many in the crowd singing along, especially during the final moments of their set.
And then it was time for the Murray to take over; I mean the Dears. Whilst talking with the Eulogies, we heard Murray’s distinguishable voice coming from the stage, but unfortunately there was no Murray on the stage. We hurried about trying to play a quick game of “Where’s Murray” until one of our beuatiful associates located him standing alone amidst the crowd. This moment exhibited the perfect blend of musicianship and showmanship which makes Murray Lightburn so remarkable.
They blasted into their set, shoveling a couple of hits off their most recent album Missiles into the set list. It wasn’t until “There Goes My Outfit”, one of the group’s best songs to date, that the show began to take flight. Murray belted out every lyric with the exact precision and tone that you’ll find on the records. In fact, this is one of the reasons that the show succeeds; the band is able to recreate their pop opuses in the exact format as appears on their album, yet it never sounds tired or banal. I owe this to the maestro-like capabilities of Murray.
In all honesty, Mr. Lightburn could play without an entire band and still be captivating, which he did during his brief comedy set prior to the band’s encore. He controls the stage with such a presence that you would be hard fought to notice anyone else upon the stage. This isn’t to say that the accompaniment isn’t doing their job, as they sounded tighter than they’ve sounded the last few times they hit town.
As the evening came to a close you felt that the Dears had somehow lost out on something. The crowd was smaller, yet the band sounds more incredible than in the days of Canadian hype. Murray has come into his own as a performer, and his vocals are ridiculously amazing, still. I felt as I left that this band could do no wrong; in my eyes, they never have.