Saturday, February 14, 2015

The New Pornographers, with Jaill - Concert photos and review - February 13, 2015 - Mr. Smalls

Great performance by The New Pornographers at a sold out Mr. Smalls. I had never seen the band before, so I had no full-ensemble benchmark that I could compare against the Neko-less version we saw Friday night. It sure didn't seem like anything (or anyone) was missing; Kathryn Calder did a fine job filling in for Case.

AC Newman wields a powerful voice with a surprising range, no better example of that than on the energetic opener “Brill Bruisers.” About half of the songs came from Brill Bruisers, and the album's vigor carried through the entire set. Dan Bejar sang lead on about seven or eight songs, including the rarely performed "Myriad Harbor" and an excellent “War on the East Coast”  (feat. Newman on harmonica). In true supergroup fashion the different players took turns singing lead, and whenever one wasn't needed on a song they'd head backstage for a spell. It was like something out of a Wings concert.

Jaill opened with a well-received set that was more rock than pop. The rhythm section added plenty of muscle, and the synths a bit of weirdness. Every time I thought I had them pegged they'd launch off in a different direction. From bite-sized blasts of garage rock to Congratulations-era MGMT psych-pop, then to a Fleetwood Mac cover (if you can believe what they say on Twitter), they kept the crowd guessing. I'll be interested to see what direction they take when they release their new album later this year on Burger Records.

Here are some photos from the performance: 



Setlist (according to
Brill Bruisers
Myriad Harbour
The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism
Dancehall Domine
War On the East Coast
Use It
Jackie, Dressed in Cobras
Another Drug Deal of the Heart
The Laws Have Changed
You Tell Me Where
Testament to Youth in Verse
All the Old Showstoppers
Adventures in Solitude
Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk
Silver Jenny Dollar
Champions of Red Wine
Born With a Sound
Mass Romantic


Ballad of a Comeback Kid
Sing Me Spanish Techno
The Bleeding Heart Show


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