Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sea Wolf at the El Rey Theatre
Sea Wolf received a warm welcome for their homecoming tour finale on a chilly evening at the El Rey Theatre. Wrapping up a headlining tour in support of their excellent album Old World Romance, Alex Church and company weaved together an entrancing set.
The Donnies The Amys
I wasn't familiar with the name The Donnies The Amys at first. But instantly recognized drum goddess Amy Wood who has slayed on the kit for Big Black Delta and also helmed the drums during Fiona Apple's tour. Quite the impressive resume.
Amy had been pulling double duty as The Donnies The Amys had been opening a handful of shows on the Fiona Apple tour before linking up for a few of the remaining Sea Wolf dates. The Donnies The Amys played a delightful set and I would recommend checking out their album which is economically priced at five dollars on bandcamp.
Hailing from Washington, Hey Marseilles worked through an infectious set of sweeping orchestral inspired pop. They have one album so far entitled, To Travels and Trunks with a follow up album promised to be released soon. Their music had elements of The National, The Decemberists and a touch of Arcade Fire.
Hey Marseilles used every band member effectively though and didn't include instruments just to make noise. Matt Bishop was an engaging frontman with his vocal style reminiscent of Colin Meloy. Since it was the last night of the tour, members of all the bands appeared at the end of their set for a sing along of "Rio". Keep an eye out for their sophomore album.
I distinctly remember Alex Church standing out in Irving when they opened for Silversun Pickups at the Troubadour in 2006. When he eventually formed Sea Wolf, I was onboard from the start. Earlier this year, I caught Sea Wolf's return to the stage when they played the Observatory and debuted some new material from Old World Romance.
Catching the tour finale was a good idea as they sounded razor sharp from the opening chords of "Miracle Cure". A flood of old memories came tumbling back upon hearing the familiar notes of "Winter Windows". Another familiar tune "The Traitor", kept everyones heads bobbing throughout the venue. A tremolo guitar opening for "Old Friend" melted effortlessly into the ringing picked acoustic guitar notes.
Circular guitars and dampened drum snaps dictated the pace of "In Nothing" which sounded even more formidable live. Deftly bouncing between old and new material, "Dew In The Grass" and "White Water, White Bloom" were followed by the symphonic swirl of "Priscilla". The pace quickened with "Middle Distance Runner". Turning back the clock to 2007 and their first EP, "I Made A Resolution" was a pleasant surprise.
The sublime jangle of "Turn The Dirt Over" washed over the crowd like a cool breeze. "Kasper" haunted the audience with its snappy drums and Church's smooth vocals. The highlight of the evening was "You're A Wolf" with some guest cello from Hey Marseilles. A generous applause had Sea Wolf come out for an encore of "Black Leaf Falls". Church's aching vocals of "Saint Catherine St." were underpinned against shimmering guitars to the point of perfection. "Black Dirt" capped out an evening that seemed to go by in seconds.
Sea Wolf Setlist at the El Rey Theatre (11/ 11/2012)
1. "Miracle Cure"
2. "Winter Windows"
3. "The Traitor"
4. "Old Friend"
5. "In Nothing"
6. "Dew In The Grass"
7. "White Water, White Bloom"
9. "Middle Distance Runner"
10. "I Made A Resolution"
11. "Turn The Dirt Over"
13. "You're A Wolf"
14. "Black Falls"
15. "Saint Catherine St."
16. "Black Dirt"