Atmosphere seemed to be the collective concern of each of the four acts of Friday night’s Café Du Nord roster, one of the most fervently anticipated line-ups of this year’s festival and one of the first to sell out. The evening was all about setting a mood, which swayed between pop-coated angst and haunted beauty as each of the four very different acts took the stage. While a strong start energized the packed house, technical glitches marred the mood of hyped headliner Tamaryn and her ethereality, and listeners were left wishing for a little more of the romance that was captured so compellingly on her recordings.
The party can’t go on forever. This year’s weeklong Noise Pop Festival went out with a bang, a sigh and swaying fans came to worship at the whim of Ben Gibbard last night. Headlining a rare solo show at a packed Great American Music Hall, the indie rock icon brought out the nostalgia and a little of the future of his band Death Cab for Cutie with tons of favorites and a teasers from the band’s newest and seventh record Codes and Keys, due in late May.
Bottom of the Hill was packed from stage to door, teeming with Ted Leo super fans in a hurry to forget about the pouring rain outside. Anyone who'd been drunkenly talking over the warm up acts promptly shut up to hear each word Leo uttered; he's that respected. The nervy frontman (who usually gets so insane onstage he sheds blood) for his band the Pharmacists was rolling solo this time around, proving to be the perfect chance for Leo's heart-on-his-sleeve, politically-tinged songwriting to shine.
Admiral Radley headlined Bottom of the Hill on Wednesday ready to rock all night. The first thing out of Aaron Espinoza's mouth: "You guys are f***ed. We're gonna play every song we know." That was at 11. All hyped up on cheap beer, the band proceeded to do just that. The quartet (two members from Grandaddy and two from Earlimart) belted out the usual suspects: "I Heart California," "Ghosts of Syllables," "Sunburn Kids," and "I'm All F***ed on Beer," but Ariana Murray's quiet solo for "Thread" stole the show. She's a real class act.
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