The Dears w/Great Northern @ Bowery Ballroom

05May09

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Well, two out of three isn’t bad, right? That’s my assessment of the bands last night at Bowery Ballroom. I arrived knowing very little about all three bands in the lineup and I left with two new Los Angeles based bands to check out – Eulogies and Great Northern.

Top-billed act The Dears, were good, but I couldn’t really get into it. I think it’s a bad sign when their set started and I didn’t even realize it. No, I wasn’t in the bathroom. I was just up in the balcony area. As a voice started singing I definitely thought it sounded live, but there was no action on the stage. Interesting. Well, all of a sudden we noticed that the rest of the crowd seemed to be fully aware that The Dears’ lead singer Murray Lightburn was holding a microphone and candle and moving through the sea of people. He was stopping to sing directly to fans. And I mean directly. Like, right in their face. I’m not sure how both Lightburn and the people being serenaded were able to keep from laughing. These people looked eerily straight faced and serious. I don’t know if there was some kind of healing or brainwashing going on, but it was intense.

After that first song, Lightburn joined his six other band mates on stage. The band’s sound is heavy on the keyboards and tambourine and Lightburn provided some impassioned vocals. It all seemed very dramatic and somewhat theatrical, which reminded me of another Candadian indie rock group–Stars. But Stars have a lighter sound, which I prefer.

Great Northern had a good sound. They were pretty much playing in the dark, with just a few blue and green lights on stage, so I couldn’t really see them or take a picture. Both the female lead singer and the guitarist who provided some vocals had really good voices. The band is touring to promote their album Remind Me Where the Light Is which was released last week.

Here are a couple pics of Eulogies, who opened the night.

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