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 Cleveland show, April 3/2010 
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Joined: 03 Jun 2008 12:01
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Location: windsor, on
Some of this is a little redundant because I wrote it for a blog elsewhere, but I don't feel like editing too much at the moment.

After catching my attention with the excellent Palo Santo in 2006, Shearwater became one of my favourite bands with the release of 2008’s stunning Rook. Their new record, The Golden Archipelago is of similarly high quality, so I was very much looking forward to seeing them on the associated tour. Although the closest date they announced initially was a Sunday night in Chicago, which was not exactly ideal in terms of travel, but happily a Saturday night Cleveland gig was added shortly thereafter. Not only did I see their last show in Cleveland (it was my favourite concert of 2008), but they were even playing the same venue – I couldn’t turn that down. Besides, given the depressingly poor attendance at the last show, I figured I should be there if only to make the crowd a little bigger.

We arrived partway through the Hospital Ships set and I was shocked to find that the crowd extended from the stage almost to the doorway – far better than last time when I was one of maybe 10-15 people in the bar. From what we saw, the ‘Ships put on a good little performance, and it was interesting to note the inter-band mixing going on. When you manage to put together a three-band tour with only 10 musicians, there are bound to be some people doing double (or triple) duty. There was still some learning going on, as certain participants were not as familiar as others with the music being played, but that was fun to see.

Wye Oak were up next and played a set which, like their recorded material, sounded far bigger than a two-member act should be capable of producing (White Stripes aside, I suppose). I was mildly concerned that their loud, wall-of-sound guitar style would be overwhelming in such a small venue, but whoever was manning the sound booth did a good job of preventing severe auditory damage and things sounded great. Even clearer than on their albums, for the most part! I really enjoyed their performance, especially the tracks from last year’s The Knot and their new EP. Once again, inter-band participation was on display and their set ended with a Kinks cover featuring Jonathan on guitar and (relatively quiet) vocals. Oh, and I award the drummer extra points for playing drums with one hand and a keyboard with the other. Very impressive!

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Oddly, the crowd dissipated before (and during) Shearwater’s set. I don’t know if a lot of people came to see Wye Oak, or if it was getting too late for the under-21 crowd, but the bar really cleared out as the show went on. Thankfully there were still exponentially more people present than at the last show, it just seemed odd for a large percentage of them to leave before the headlining act.

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As expected, Shearwater put on a pretty fantastic, emotionally-engaging, and goosebump-raising show. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it quite as much as last time, but given how much I loved the last show that’s not really a criticism.

Setlist:

Black Eyes
Landscape At Speed
Castaways
Meridian
White Waves
God Made Me
Corridors
Hidden Lakes
Runners of the Sun
Rooks
Century Eyes
I Was a Cloud
Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five
Uniforms
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Home Life
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The setlist was, as one might expect, pretty heavy on new material, but I do like the new album a lot so it’s not a major gripe by any means. “Black Eyes” was a fantastic way to start the set, “Castaways” and “Meridian” were both fantastic, and “White Waves” brought some nice intensity to the early proceedings. I think I appreciate “God Made Me” now that I’ve seen it live, “Corridors” ruined my chill sesh (in a good way), and “Hidden Lakes” was possibly even more gorgeous than the recorded version. That glockenspiel duet gets me every time. I was surprised to hear “Runners of the Sun”, which is one of my favourite tracks from the new album, but it sadly didn't have quite the same impact live – keyboards just can’t fill in for the strings that make it such a pretty song.

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As for the last part of the set, just about everything was a highlight, especially the rollicking performance of “Century Eyes” which had just about everyone involved in the tour on stage and rocking out in some capacity. I was extremely shocked during the encore when Jonathan asked the crowd for requests and actually took one (with some persuasion from Thor) rather than just waiting for someone to yell what they were planning to play anyway (which seems to be how most band do these things). I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before, outside of really tiny shows. Given that A) I was one of the people yelling for “Home Life” and B) it was the most notable omission of their last performance, I was very pleased that they chose that one. I was a little less pleased that they didn’t add “The Snow Leopard” afterward, more for the benefit of my companions who didn’t attend the last show than for me, but I would have liked to hear it too. I did get the song I most wanted to hear, though, so I will stop my complaining…now.

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The sound guy did a good job for Shearwater as well, and everything sounded great. As they did last time, the band members played a wide array of instruments very well and traded places on a number of occasions, which is always a nice touch. There was a fair amount of banter and everyone seemed happy to be playing Cleveland this time, and that was also good. My only complaint from a technical standpoint would be the lighting (or lack thereof), which made it extremely difficult to get any good pictures. I was looking forward to trying out my new D-SLR for concert photography but my shots were actually worse than last time with the point-and-shoot as the lighting was much better on that occasion. Oh well! At least I didn’t resort to blinding the band with my flash like some other guy did.

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In conclusion Shearwater once again put on a great show, and I very much look forward to seeing them again the next time they come within a three-hour radius of Windsor.

More photos here.

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PS: holy crap I wrote a lot!

PPS: it was fun talking to a few people who were also at the last sparsely attended show - when there are so few, they're bound to stand out at the next one. Thanks to Jeff and Cara for a fun dinner, and thanks to the guy with the videocamera whose name I don't remember at the moment for taping.


06 Apr 2010 05:58
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006 10:48
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Nice photos. Unfortunately, my iPhone photos came out really crappy. I didn't bring my DSLR to the show because I figured if I spent time with it, it would distract me from the show.

I was sadly one of the people that cleared out a bit during the Shearwater set. My wife and I were beat after a long day at the zoo, so we ended up near the back sitting down. She went back during Meridian, and I went back during I Was a Cloud.

I feel old because I have trouble staying awake after 11 PM, let alone 1:30. We left once the encore started. As much as I love Home Life, we needed to leave then to avoid falling asleep while driving. At least we had a place to stay in Cleveland, we didn't have to drive the 2.5 hours back to Pittsburgh until the next day.

Even with sitting down and leaving during the encore, I really enjoyed the show.


06 Apr 2010 08:50
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Those pictures are amazing, and thanks for the lengthy report! :D In Germany we had "Landscape At Speed" as opener, which worked really well, but I can imagine the extra-shot of energy with "Black Eyes" as starting point. I agree with you on "Runners Of The Sun" without the strings, they should sometime tour with strings, maybe a quartet! That would be grand...

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06 Apr 2010 10:57
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sea wrote:
Those pictures are amazing, and thanks for the lengthy report! :D In Germany we had "Landscape At Speed" as opener, which worked really well, but I can imagine the extra-shot of energy with "Black Eyes" as starting point. I agree with you on "Runners Of The Sun" without the strings, they should sometime tour with strings, maybe a quartet! That would be grand...


Frankly I'm surprised that no one in the band knows how to play a violin or cello - they seem to cover all of the other instruments pretty well! Then again, it might be more a matter of not wanting to lug extra instruments along and then use them for only 1-2 songs. I wouldn't doubt there are more orchestral-type shows in the future, we'll just have to hope they're near enough for us to see.

RobDev wrote:
Nice photos. Unfortunately, my iPhone photos came out really crappy. I didn't bring my DSLR to the show because I figured if I spent time with it, it would distract me from the show.

I was sadly one of the people that cleared out a bit during the Shearwater set. My wife and I were beat after a long day at the zoo, so we ended up near the back sitting down. She went back during Meridian, and I went back during I Was a Cloud.

I feel old because I have trouble staying awake after 11 PM, let alone 1:30. We left once the encore started. As much as I love Home Life, we needed to leave then to avoid falling asleep while driving. At least we had a place to stay in Cleveland, we didn't have to drive the 2.5 hours back to Pittsburgh until the next day.

Even with sitting down and leaving during the encore, I really enjoyed the show.


Yeah, I have to restrain myself from overdoing it with the photos, but I did okay this time. The lighting situation probably helped with my willpower in that regard. I'm glad you stuck around for most of the show (unlike many others), and even gladder that you enjoyed it. I totally sympathize with your fatigue, as well - I'm getting too old to stay up so late, and especially to stand in one place for 3-4 hours on end. My back always kills me after these kinds of gigs. Thankfully we were also spending the weekend this time, unlike last time when I had to drive back to Canada for class the next morning. Ugh.

I also visited the zoo this weekend! Appropriately enough, this is probably my favourite shot:

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06 Apr 2010 16:45
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daylight wrote:
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Oooooh. Beautiful. :shock:


06 Apr 2010 16:48
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006 10:48
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Quote:
I also visited the zoo this weekend! Appropriately enough, this is probably my favourite shot:

Image


Very nice. The snow leopard was sleeping when I went by. I think if it had been awake, I would have stayed watching it for hours.


07 Apr 2010 08:45
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Cross-posted from the download thread:

2008-10-14, Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland

1. On The Death Of The Waters (2:47)
2. Red Sea, Black Sea (3:30)
3. Mountain Laurel (2:20)
4. Rooks (3:56)
5. White Waves (4:50)
6. Leviathan, Bound (2:56)
7. Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five (3:19)
8. The Snow Leopard (5:16)
9. I Was A Cloud (5:23)
10. Century Eyes (2:23)
11. Hail, Mary (6:17)
12. North Col (3:17)

2010-04-03, Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland

1. Black Eyes (3:27)
2. Landscape At Speed (4:34)
3. Castaways (3:09)
4. Meridian (3:43)
5. White Waves (4:57)
6. God Made Me (5:05)
7. Corridors (3:20)
8. Hidden Lakes (4:45)
9. Runners Of The Sun (3:37)
10. Rooks (3:31)
11. Century Eyes (2:46)
12. I Was A Cloud (6:05)
13. Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five (3:09)
14. Uniforms (4:53)
15. Home Life (7:06)

And as a bonus, here's the Wye Oak set from that night.

1. For Prayer (4:05)
2. Talking About Money (3:58)
3. My Neighbor (4:41)
4. Civilian (4:08)
5. Dogs' Eyes (3:31)
6. That I Do (4:24)
7. I Hope You Die (5:38)
8. Family Glue (5:48)
9. Strangers (5:29)


Last edited by daylight on 03 May 2010 18:47, edited 1 time in total.



02 May 2010 20:09
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010 00:41
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Location: arizona
Thank you so much for the downloadables! I was super-stoked to see someone recorded Wye Oak, too. Sadly, when it downloaded it, winrar told me that (9) Strangers was a corrupt file. I downloaded it again to be sure, and it gave me the same error message. Figured you'd want to know.

Again, thank you. This is certainly shaping up to be the year of the bootlegs, and they sound great on every one of them. ♥


03 May 2010 13:55
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Joined: 03 Jun 2008 12:01
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Weird, must not have finished uploading properly. Try again?


03 May 2010 15:38
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