Live Review: Porlolo, Bad Weather California, Wentworth Kersey, Team Firefox and Sorelina at hi-dive

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Porlolo, Bad Weather California, Wentworth Kersey, Team Firefox and Sorelina Friday, July 18, 2008 hi-dive Better than: Unicorns and fuzzy blankets.

At one point in Porlolo’s delightful set, singer Erin Roberts said she was asked why her she didn’t play last since it was her CD release show. “It’s my party, and I want to see Bad Weather California.” So Roberts, backed by some fine local talent, took the third slot and ran through a number of tracks from the gorgeous new album, Meadows.

With some first-rate string help by Bela Karoli’s bassist Julie Davis and violinist Carrie Beeder, Roberts opened the set with a few cuts from the new album, including the lovely “Lion the Grass” and “Meadows” before “Usetonaut” from 2006’s Storm and Season. Guitarist Roger Green slipped in some twang to the countrified “Tear Me Down” and Bad Weather California’s drummer Xandy Whitesel lifted “Animals Should Live Forever,” one of the more rocking cuts on the mostly reflective new album. Kate Magnus, who also lives in Gunnison with Roberts, played electric bass, Melodica and a small Casio keyboard with the names of the notes written on the keys.

Roberts has this sweet, endearing quality about her when she sings, almost like a fuzzy blanket for the ears. And hearing her backed up by all those wonderful musicians, well, at times it was like being wrapped up in bunch of fuzzy blankets.

And once Bad Weather California took command of the stage, it was obvious why Roberts wanted those guys to play last. It’s no easy feat follow and consistently deliver amazing sets, and Friday’s set was on par with some of the band’s best shows.

Anna Mascorella, performing under the name Sorelina, played a truly sublime set of vocals and cello to open the night. Mascorella will play two reunion shows with Matson Jones this week before moving to Chicago.

Following Sorelina, the lights went out, and the folks in the crowd cleared a spot on the floor for the Spandex-clad gals of Team Firefox, who did some awesome dance routines to ‘80s classics like Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down.” The glow of their neon bracelets and necklaces, the fanny packs, the headbands… it was all totally ‘80s.

“This is kind of surreal,” Joe Sampson said as the girls were wrapping up their show. Sampson then took the stage with George & Caplin’s Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens to debut their new project, Wentworth Kersey, whose moniker borrows from their middle names.

– Jon Solomon Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: Porlolo’s set was equally as good as the new album, which is damn good. Random Detail: Sitting next to Porlolo’s merchandise was a cake with a unicorn with the words “Porlolo Believes in You!” written on the frosting. By the Way: Speaking of unicorns, a guy had a unicorn head attached on a stick.

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