Sylvan Esso Rocks Tipitina's
Last Thursday as expected, Sylvan Esso positively owned the crowd at Tipitina’s. This is a different band from the one that played Gasa Gasa in August. Their sound is stronger and they are more confident as a unit. There is a moment when a band goes from being indie or underground to breaking through into the popular consciousness. Sylvan Esso is currently riding the cusp of this moment. It seems from their reaction to the sold out crowd at Tipitina’s that they are more comfortable with their successes but at times still overwhelmed by them. Selling out a legendary venue like Tip’s with a crowd not only hanging on your every word but also singing your every lyric is a moment of transition for any band. Amelia Meath was relaxed and confident. Her voice soared over the audience as she danced across the stage in platform sneakers. For his part, Nick Sanborn has eased into his roll as the maestro of their complex sound. The sheer joy these two exude on stage together is truly infectious. Interestingly, they played what are arguably their two best known songs “Dress” and “Coffee” back to back as the third and fourth songs of the night. By clearing out the hits early, they opened the floor to deeper cuts and new material—all delivered with aplomb. As they launched into their final number, Meath observed that they had literally run out of songs to play. That night they left it all on stage. I anxiously await the expansion of their catalogue and their return to town.
Over the weekend, Hogs for the Cause delivered what was easily the best musical lineup in the history of their event. I was especially pleased to see the addition of Brooklyn stalwarts Moon Hooch to the list of local favorites. This group, which consists of two saxophone players and a drummer, has clearly been inspired by the New Orleans brass scene but their presence here is also a challenge for our local scene to adapt and grow. Each year, Hogs feels more like a festival and the combination of amazing food and music has really driven that home. In addition, the teams who make the festival grounds their home over the course of the weekend add to the vibe that the festival is inhabited rather than simply visited. An excellent way to spend a spring weekend.
If noise rock is your interest check out the Swans Friday night at One Eyed Jacks. Also this week, make sure to check out hip hop experimentalist Talib Kweli Saturday night at the House of Blues. In addition the Joe Krown Trio will be at the Maple Leaf Sunday night. At Wednesday at the Square this week Nashville based dirty soul group Alanna Royale will open for Kermit Ruffins. I highly recommend you get there in time to catch Alanna sing, this modern soul will blow you away.
In new music this week. NPR is streaming new records from The Mountain Goats and Waxahatchee. Beat the Champ is the Mountain Goats 15th record. It is a concept record exploring the world of professional wrestling. Ivy Tripp, Waxahatchee’s new record is aggressive and confident. This is a huge stride forward for her musically. Don’t miss Waxahatchee at Gasa Gasa on April 19th.