Saturday, October 16, 2010

Show Review + Photos + Setlist: Paste Tour featuring Jason Isbell and Langhorne Slim Brings Hodge-Podge of Talent to Off Broadway, Friday, October 15

Posted By on Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 11:06 AM

click to enlarge Jason Isbell - JESS LUTHER
  • Jess Luther
  • Jason Isbell

The Paste Tour brought together a hodge-podge of big talent to Off Broadway last night, and despite a disconnect in pacing between the first and second halves, the show was a solid showcase of guitar-heavy up-and-comers.

Mimicking Birds seemed to sneak in the side door with a quiet, acoustic-based set. Sticking to their time limit, the Portland, Oregon, trio led by singer-songwriter Nate Lacy played five songs that painted an atmosphere of rain-drenched cedars. Beginning with "New Doomsdays," each song packed the gorgeous chill of Ryan Adams' version of Oasis' "Wonderwall." Lacy handles his poetic lyrics with care, which may be why Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock leapt to produce Mimicking Birds' 2009 debut on his Glacial Pace Records. Ian Luxton, ever restrained on electric guitar and high harmony, provided smiling, melancholic stage banter: "It's nice to be back in the land of Waffle House," adding that if they had the greasy spoon chain at home, "we probably wouldn't enjoy them as much." These guys would definitely make the soundtrack of Garden State 2, as they closed with "The Loop," a curling and haunting riff.

Though the room was sparsely populated during Mimicking Birds' set, the growing crowd (the largest of the tour thus-far, according to Luxton of M.B.) was ready to mix and mingle by the time Jesse Sykes and Phil Wandscher took the stage. Seated and cradling guitars, the duo spun low-key folk laments. Wandscher is a member of Sykes' band the Sweet Hereafter, but was formerly a member of '90s alt-country trailblazers Whiskeytown. His lonely-road electric guitar added depth to Sykes' breathy country-noir; so did his high harmonies on songs such as "Spectral Beings," during which the pair sounded like echoing ghosts. While lovely, was this a Friday-night set? Maybe not. The crowd didn't seem to think so and talked noisily throughout. Sykes commented unselfconsciously on the "beautiful and sad" mood of her songs, thanking everyone for listening while stoking anticipation for the dance party ahead - all the while remaining ethereal yet down-to-earth.

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