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Anathallo, 3/4 @ Mercury Lounge

March 5, 2009


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

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