Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Album Leaf at the Echo

I was disappointed that I had a concert conflict the last time The Album Leaf were in town at the El Rey Theatre. I did manage to catch part of their set at San Diego Street Scene. I was honestly surprised they booked a show at the tiny Echo but I didn't think about it twice as I snatched up a ticket. I think the first time I saw The Album Leaf was at the Wiltern in 2002 when they opened for Sigur Ros.I also traveled to Arizona in 2003 to catch Sigur Ros and the Album Leaf at Nita's Hideaway.

What Laura Says Thinks and Feels

It is close to impossible to open a show for the Album Leaf because their music is so different and ambient. What Laura Says Thinks And Feels hailing from Tempe, Arizona stepped up to the challenge with solid results. What Laura Says Thinks And Feels combine elements of southern soul rock spliced with Beach Boys vocal harmonies and adept musicianship. Danny Godbold (Keyboards/Guitars/Vocals) traded vocal duties with James Mulhern (Vocals/Guitars) to further mix up their sunny soulful songs. Jacob Woolsey (Percussion) was the secret ingredient to their musical potion as he added different forms of percussion via metal bowls, glasses with water and assorted weirdness to the mix. They will not be unsigned for long.

Kill Me Tomorrow

Kill Me Tomorrow hails from San Diego and had a lot of interesting equipment on stage that had me intrigued before they went into their intoxicating set. K8 (Bass) had a black Rickenbacker bass that she ran through a Pro Co Rat distortion pedal for a growling bass tone. Dan Wise(Guitars) had a Line 6 Delay and Filter pedal set up for his hollowbody guitar. Dan's guitar tone was in the piercing realm of the reverb like the Raveonettes. Zack Wentz(Drums) had a stand up drum kit assembled as he flailed away while singing their surf noir crime punk tunes. I was amused they titled their setlist "KMT Hits".

The Album Leaf

The Album Leaf appeal to my synthesizer side as they have synths galore on stage combined with Jimmy LaValle's classically trained Fender Rhoades piano playing. I don't want to estimate the dollar amount of gear on stage but between the MiniMoog Voyager, Moog Little Phatty, Moog Prodigy and the Fender Rhoades could easily get you a decent car. They opened with "Into The Sea" from their latest release "Into The Blue Again" with its hypnotic piano lines and atmospheric synths filling the room. "Always For You" is one of the rare songs from The Album Leaf that includes singing and is a great example why they need to sing on more songs. "Writings on the Wall" starts off like a piano lullaby before the crying violin sounds fill out the song. Drew Andrews (Guitars/Keyboards) was behind his synth station switching between Fender Telecaster Deluxe and his Alesis Keyboard micron. Matthew Resovich (Violin/Keyboards) had a Electro Harmonix POG in his pedalboard for his violin which is an absolutely insane idea. "Wherever I Go" is another song with vocals from all members of the Album Leaf and ranks as one of my top Album Leaf songs. I was secretly hoping to hear "Story Board" from their second album "One Day I'll Be On Time" but haven't heard the song live in years as Jimmy used to play guitar on the song. The Album Leaf are a must see live act because it is a rare combination of visuals and music that ultimately satisfies the senses. I was even more excited to catch them the next night at the Detroit Bar.

The Album Leaf setlist for the Echo

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