Friday, December 4, 2009

TVD's The Night After | Elvis Perkins at The Rock and Roll Hotel, Wednesday Night

“It’s so hot my bass is sweating!” This sentiment echoed by Elvis Perkins’ bass player, Mr. Brigham Brough at last nights show at Rock n Roll Hotel, wasn’t a far stretch from the truth. I can describe this show in three short phrases: a) hot b) crowded and c) folk-gospel. Yep, that’s about it.

So I might be a bit biased in writing this review since in recent years my musical tastes have outgrown the folky likes of Wilco and Bright Eyes and have evolved to a more electronic persuasion. However, I shall do my best to maintain impartiality.

Although it may not be my cup of tea, it is clear that Elvis and the crew are definitely not lacking on fans, as this was the most crowded show I’ve been to at the Hotel. The Hotel consisted of quite the young, innocent and flannel-clad audience, many of whom admitted (once asked by Perkins) to seeing Perkins recently at Club Iota in Virginia. The progression from Iota to an overloaded Rock n Roll suggests Mr. Perkins is moving right up the ladder to… could it be?... 930 club stardom? I guess we shall see.

To begin the show Perkins and his troupe of heavily-bearded band members entered from the back of the venue, forcing the already tight crowd to get a little bit tighter, as their brass procession made its way to the stage. Many of Perkins’ songs evoke visions of a rainy New Orleans funeral procession (I may have fallen asleep with my eyes open once or twice…) except those in which the drummer busted out his big ass drum and threw a more funky-vibe into the mix (which was awesome). At the end of the show, Elvis so graciously took requests from the audience and immediately played not one but TWO encores. He then told the crowd to meet him upstairs for drinks or ‘a pat on the back’, whichever they preferred.

So bottom line, I can’t say anything about the band themselves, and you folky cats would have definitely enjoyed it.

Elvis Perkins In Dearland - Shampoo (Mp3)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nicole, I think you missed the mark here. What's interesting wasn't the sweaty heat of the rock and roll hotel. Which in my opinion, is a total step in the WRONG direction from Iota, which is a better run, more comfortable, albeit unfortunately located venue. Shame on RnR, btw, that place is almost as bad as Velvet lounge. Is this the best we have DC? As I was saying, what is interesting here is the music. Dearland back's up Elvis's thus far mediocre folk career with thoughtful harmonies, bold instrumentation, well conceived live improvisation and variety, esp. when compared to the album other shows. They are a breath of fresh air, a sect of folk in and of themselves, and entirely unlike Wilco and/or Bright Eyes for that matter, thank you. Elvis' practiced voice warbled atop the inspired sounds of Dearland, imbued with remnants of spanish flamenco, and Italian grinders, and yes, the joyous sounds of trombone and trumpet which evoke the joyous sounds of a New Orleans funeral durge. This band is versitile. Once Elvis turns in the maestro title, settles in, and the band just becomes, Dearland, I think we'll have a much more unified, funkified unit. Stay tuned for more. If these last few incredibly tight performances are any indication, Dearland will be a must see next time they hit DC. Hopefully, not at 9:30 Club.