Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Show review: Fall Fox, Daniel Lutz, Hope & Therapy, Brother George at Subterranean, 10/21

Posted by Sasha

Brother George
These days especially, it's hard to make retro sound fresh. Everyone's doing it; all the fads of the past century are now in flux. While last Thursday's lineup at Subterranean was full of backwards-compatible tunes, I didn't detect a second of straight mimicry. The evening was headed by Fall Fox and his playful breed of occasionally synth-tipped folk. He switched out guitars between each song, wielding an arsenal of four acoustics, each in a different tuning. Capping off his set with a 19th century Irish folk tune, Fall Fox led perfectly into the ethereal fingerpicked folk of Daniel Lutz, another solo songwriter who could have just stepped out of the '60s scene.

Somewhere between prog and neo-soul, Hope & Therapy played like a power trio from a future with no need for guitars. Dan Deck cranked some incredible tones out of his Kramer under the powerful vocal melodies and keys of Hope Gaines. Their sound felt removed from time, simultaneously weighted with classic influence and careening off toward the unknown.

Brother George, conversely, seem to know exactly their place in time. Sporting some gorgeous vintage gear, they played like the harbingers of classic rock for the digital age. I felt like I was watching a fresher, more current version of The Band in their heyday, with a good deal of humor in their persona. Brother George didn't just wear the classic vibe; they mastered the sound from the inside. The viola bass, Telecaster, and vintage hollowbody rang out like they used to before the dawn of the humbucker. The tone on the hollowbody was so good that at the start of one solo, I swore there was a fourth human voice squealing out of the stacks. It blew my mind. While it's easy to fall into cliche when drawing so much on rock's early days, Brother George proved that even the most tired genres can be reinvigorated with the right energy. 

Check out more photos from the show after the jump.

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