Thursday, June 27, 2013

Eleanor Friedberger was here!

Eleanor Friedberger is asleep somewhere in Pittsburgh right now. Wish I was too. Last night, her show at the Brillobox was a mess of fun. This is the first time she's been to Pittsburgh on a solo tour, in this case in support of her new Personal Record album, her second solo release. Opener Cassandra Jenkins and her band accompanied here (seen above; that's Cassandra on bass).

We got there after Cassandra had started. Her songs were kind of subdued, slow tempos with room taken up by ringing keyboards and e-bow guitars. Things were paced really well so that by the end, the energy had built to a good crescendo.

All-female band Teen was up next, and they were almost a tough act for Eleanor to follow. One part new wave dance, one part psychedelic drone, one part 21st-century version of the Raincoats, they were awesome. Great songs that alternated between simple and extremely catchy.

One thing that was a little different from Fiery Furnaces shows was that Eleanor seemed more visible in the small Brillobox space. When I got there, she was working the merch table, chatting with people. She's extremely personable, but at FF shows, it seemed like she was a little more distant, perhaps staying in the zone to remember all of those lyrics. Her setlist was predominantly stacked with songs from the new album. She alternated between playing rhythm guitar and just standing there with mike in hand, occasionally getting into the music and dancing around the stage. For the final song, she leaped off the stage and joined the audience. Good times. My notes are pretty illegible so it's hard to offer any further descriptions of the set. So let me put it this way: You should've been there.

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