Over the weekend: Bat for Lashes at the Bluebird Theater
Bat For Lashes, Other Lives
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Better Than: See bands with technical ability but no imagination.
Openers Other Lives started out with a lush, orchestral, folk-inflected pop song that reminded me a bit of Arab Strap, without the bile and the Scottish accents. It would have been easy to write Other Lives off as yet another adherent to the Radiohead school of atmospheric music but something about the band's songs went beyond something so obvious. The lyrics in the second song were an introspective dialogue between the singer and the memory of a person or a situation and made for an interesting section of the set. In general, this group's words were a cross between confessional and narrative and were, at times, reminiscent of the middle era Leonard Cohen in tone and dynamics. For one song, I heard a guitar sound like early Pink Floyd. What made this act for me was that it was masterful at mixing together melodies and dynamics to construct atmospherics in a truly unconventional manner. Surprisingly good overall, Other Lives also engaged the audience in some light-hearted conversation and immediately had us on its side.
After a theatrical, heady performance of "Pearl's Dream" with its tribal drumming and pulsing lights, the band left the stage and came back for an encore starting with "Prescilla" during which only Christophers and Khan were on stage and Khan played the lonely and intense melody with an autoharp. The entire show closed with an especially great version of "Daniel," sounding for all the world like "A Forest" by The Cure.
Personal Bias: Natasha Khan speaks my metaphysical language.
Random Detail: Met two women named Krista and Stacy who'd seen The Pretenders right before coming to this show.
By the Way: The Other Lives' 180-gram vinyl comes with a CD.
Bat for Lashes
08/22/09 - Denver, CO
3. Sleep Alone
4. Horse and I
5. Travelling Woman
6. Siren Song
9. Sad Eyes*
11. What's a Girl To Do?
12. Pearl's Dream
14. Good Love
15. Moon and Moon
16. Two Planets
*I think this was cut from the set
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.