The Fiery Furnaces roared through Raleigh last night at the Lincoln Theatre, Friday 06-Jul-2007.
I was proud to have arrived early enough to catch most of the opening act, an L.A. band called Dios, who really rocked the house. I found myself watching the drummer much of the time who was front and center, as he was so animated and energetic, and had a really subtle sense of humor with faux yawns and the like. Great band-- loads of energy, and excellent guitar playing, on 12-string acoustic alternated with a Guild hollow-body electric. I was left wishing I had caught their entire set.
The Fiery Furnaces took the stage very shortly after Dios' energetic set, and being up front, I couldn't have been more happier. I was pretty much dead center, amid a group of fans like me that knew their songs, and couldn't help move around a bit.
The main set was essentially a Two-Act affair. Act I was all songs from their latest release from 2006's Bitter Tea. I was blown away with the double percussionists one Bob D'Amico and another whose name escapes me (sorry) and an ace guitar player Jason Lowenstein. And of course the cibling duo Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger. I am almost certain it was just the duo when they took the stage at ACLF, 2005.
Be that as it may, we had a full band in front of us tonight, and they really rocked hard . Most if not all of the arrangements were different, but most notably, Matt was absent on vocals. For the entire show, actually. That didn't keep him from playing the KORG organ, however. Eleanor sang and ripped through those rapid-fire lyrics of hers that never fail to mesmerize. In fact, I have been addicted to Bitter Tea all day long. Tonight's pot went down quite easily.
Act II was comprised of choice cuts from Blueberry Boat, Gallowsbird's Bark, and EP. The latter of which features a timely song "Here Comes the Summer." In addition, Eleanor introduced a couple numbers as being on a new record due out in the fall. One of which was "Widow City" (I think) from the album of the same name. Good stuff. The band seemed to be having a good time on stage, but I'm not sure the entire crowd was into it, liked I had hoped they would be. We were treated to a few encores, including a bit of "Chris Michaels." It was a great set, and I was left wanting more.
After the show I hit the merch table for a vinyl copy of their latest and to pick up Dios (malos). My friend Jonathan (who picked up a copy as well) and I made our way down to the stage, where Matt was helping to break down the stage. I politely asked if he could sign my album, which he was very happy to oblige. We chatted a bit and I asked if Eleanor would be out later, and he said she would be. True to word, she came around to the pit a few moments later and signed my record.
We chatted a bit about Chuy's in Austin, and the music festivals for which the city is renowned. Why they're not on the line-up this year is beyond me. Surprisingly, I didn't find myself quite so tongue-tied talking with her, even though I think I have a RSGF* crush. Oh, and Eleanor, on the off chance you read this, the name of the place on Barton Springs is Shady Grove. I knew it would come to me.
from Bitter Tea, 2006
from Dios (malos), 2005