Another night at the Biltmore, this time for a sold out Elliott BROOD show. I do have to commend the Biltmore, I suppose, for running a tight ship last night. With three bands on the bill, I feared it would run really late, but they had everything going like clockwork, with bands hitting the stage on the hour, and ended just before 12:30. Though, since it was a sold out show, the room was incredibly stuffy and warm by the end of the night. But, enough about that, on to the show itself.
First up was Sleepy Sun, from San Fransisco. They had a kind of psychedelic space rock sound, not unlike Black Mountain. The male/female harmonies & dynamics, which were quite excellent, didn't lessen the comparison. They didn't have much by way of banter, preferring the music to speak for itself. They put on a solid set, and I wouldn't mind catching more of them in the future (no pun intended)
The Wooden Sky was up next, and flannel-clad gentlemen were a bit more on the folksy/rootsy-influenced side. With charm and a pretty damn good stage presence, with what seemed like (and what probably was) complete ease. At one point they were joined onstage by former Mother Mother member, Debra-Jean Creelman. They also broke out a cover tune near the end of the set. I think more bands should play random covers live, because they're almost always interesting. Maybe not always good, but always interesting. In this case, it was American Girl, originally by Tom Petty, and they pretty much owned it.
Finally, it was Elliott BROOD's turn. I hadn't seen or heard them live before, and even though I had heard good things, I wasn't really sure that to expect. Well, it's always fun to have no (or low) expectations on things and be absolutely blown away. I have seen few bands with the awesome raw energy and stage presence Elliott BROOD has. Playing almost an hour and a half, and a good mix of old and new material, they kept a high energy for the whole set and tore the place down. One of my favourite songs off the new album is the instrumental Chuckwagon, which was pretty incredible and one of the (many) highlights of the set. Near the end, they did what now seems to be tradition for the band and brought out tin sheets, pot & pan lids and wooden spoons and distributed them throughout the crowd for some extra percussion and some crazy audience involvement. For Write It All Down For You they brought out some members of The Wooden Sky for help with things like drumming, and just went nuts. Between the extra members, the clatter of the crowd and the whole damn sold out place yelling along for the HEYHEYHEY!!!'s, it was chaotically awesome and one of the best song performances of the year so far. You just couldn't help but love it. They ended the main set with Fingers and Tongues, but were back out soon enough for the obvious encore.
And speaking of covers, they kicked off the encore with a cover of Crazy Horse's Dance Dance Dance, before bidding us all adieu with the closing song from Mountain Meadows, Miss You Now, an absolute perfect closing song.
The more I think back on the show, the more I am loving it, and only a day removed, I can't wait to see Elliott BROOD live again.