Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bowery 6.6.08: Pela, The Big Sleep & Caithlin de Marrais

Last Friday I ventured back to the Bowery for the first time since Cloud Cult for the Pela concert and was pleasantly surprised by both opening acts.  Caithlin De Marrais is a singer-songwriter with a beautiful voice (that’s saying a lot, as I’m usually not into female singers) and a talented backing band, led by her best friend and producer, Josh.  (They're so adorable together.)  She was a carefree spirit on stage in a flowing linen top, while the guys in the band all wore thrift-store inspired suits with sneakers.  I had a slight obsession with what the keyboardist was wearing as they were warming up.  "The Fire" is a great song--love the backing vocals--and is currently on her myspace page, so check it out.  She'll be playing again at the Mercury Lounge in August.

The Big Sleep were up next and they provided such an amazing sound for a three piece band.  I was really enjoying their set, but was disappointed each time the female bassist or lead guitarist would start with the vocals.  They truly lacked a lead presence/vocalist, as neither of them could provide enough vocal power to carry the songs.  I would have absolutely loved them as a instruments only group, as they were well-versed in their various instruments.  I will probably check them out again the next time they are in the city (they’re a Brooklyn band, it shouldn’t be too long) and am recommending you see them at Bonnaroo.  The Takeaway Shows recorded a session with them earlier and you know how much we love Vincent Moon.

Pela came out ready to play with such great energy on stage.  I’ve had a musical crush on Billy McCarthy, the singer/guitarist, and was excited to see him, but slightly distracted by the boots and pegged pants, although I’m willing to forgive his wardrobe selections :)  They played a strong set, complete with water bursting from his mouth on stage, like I hadn’t seen since a Lit concert in 2000--oh no, did I just confess to attending a Lit concert?  Their set was peppered with covers and new songs, making for a fresh experience for someone so enamored with Anytown Graffiti.  The encore was surprisingly long, which showed just how much the band enjoys playing and didn’t want to leave the stage.  "Waiting on the Stairs" has always been a favorite and made for an enjoyable live experience for more reasons than we’ll go into here.

I’d made a friend at the Bowery and didn’t feel like explaining all the cameras that I’d brought to the show, so I was blogging undercover and didn’t get any video and only the few pictures that have been shared here.  If anyone has the setlist, I'm a bit fanatical with those, but my notes from that night are a mess of black sharpie as it was a bit dark in the balcony.

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