Anathallo, 3/4 @ Mercury Lounge
Matt Joynt of Anathallo opened their show last night (3/4) at Mercury Lounge with a little banter about John Schaefer from WNYC (where they performed earlier in the day) calling them “dorks” and saying their sound wasn’t very “rock and roll.” These were premonitions of what was to come:
1. Matt Joynt loves to banter. He chatted up the crowd about the bands breakfast that morning, about Finnish shock-metal, about his love for the opening bands, about his record label (Anticon), about anything that seemed to cross his mind. It was charming at times, but…
2. Anathallo are dorks…loveable dorks. Their name is derived from a Greek term meaning “to renew, refresh, to bloom again.” They write songs about bird migration. Their trombonist, Brett Wallin, got so excited at times he looked like he was in a church choir, infused with the holy spirit, barely able to contain himself.
3. Their first song opened with 3 members playing hand bells and that was just the beginning of the varied instrumentation which, over the course of the night, would feature harmonicas, glockenspiel, elevated bass drums, wood blocks, maracas, trumpet, trombone, two keyboards, handclap as well as the standard bass, guitar and drums.
All of those combinations created the fullest sound I’ve ever heard at Mercury Lounge. Added to it was the vocals of Matt and Erica Froman which reminded me at times of Sufjan Stevens and Shara Worden with their ability to sway between falsettos and rich harmonies. The band could also change gears from delicate melodies to bass-booming, brassy surges which was most prevalent during “The River”, one of their strongest songs of the night. They also reinterpreted Hannah Marcus’s “Laos” adding intense, upbeat compositions to the front and back ends taking advantage of all band members strengths for one of the night’s most interesting numbers. The full room appreciated all the musicianship, cheering loudly for an encore despite it being well-past midnight on a Wednesday.
Remaining tour dates after the jump…
Mar 5 2009 Johnny Brenda’s w/ Sam Amidon Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mar 6 2009 Ottobar w/ Sam Amidon Baltimore, Maryland
Mar 7 2009 Cat’s Cradle w/ Sam Amidon Carrborro, North Carolina
Mar 8 2009 New Brookland Tavern w/ Sam Amidon West Columbia, South Carolina
Mar 9 2009 The Social w/ Sam Amidon Orlando, Florida
Mar 11 2009 40 Watt w/ Sam Amidon Athens, Georgia
Mar 12 2009 Exit In w/ Sam Amidon Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 13 2009 Proud Larrys w/ Sam Amidon Oxford, Mississippi
Mar 14 2009 Spanish Moon w/ Sam Amidon Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Mar 17 2009 McAllen Creative Incubator McAllen, Texas
Mar 18 2009 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 26 2009 Luminary Center for the Arts St. Louis, Missouri
Mar 27 2009 The Bottom Lounge Chicago, Illinois
Apr 16 2009 930 Listening Room Louisville, Kentucky
Apr 17 2009 The Kingdom Bowling Green, Kentucky
Apr 18 2009 Barefoot Joe’s @ Union University Jackson, Tennessee