Dec 13, 2008

Final Fantasy @ The Vanguard

A unique night from a unique performer. First thoughts on the Final Fantasy show at the Vanguard last night in Newtown. Second thoughts? A man of great talent put on an exquisite and thrilling show. The man "behind" Arcade Fire is truly a greatly talented performer in his own right. With two albums behind him and hopefully a third in 2009, Owen Pallett was making his first trip to Australia. And for little over an hour he enthralled a very appreciative audience.

There was a lot to digest for the night. Firstly, although he didn't say a lot, Pallett is a very charming and gracious performer. Always thanking the audience and seeming very modest of his considerable talents. For considerable they are. Dressed in a Deerhunter T-Shirt he sticks mainly to the violin, with occasional trips to the keyboards, continually looping his sounds to create a beautiful wave of sound. His violin playing his quite superb, managing to find every way possible to create mellifluous music. Sometimes playing with great force, sometimes with quiet tenderness and sometimes banging it in an attempt to create something special. Special would be an operative word. Whether he was playing an old tune, a recent EP track or something that will hopefully appear on the new album. Highlights for me were the jaunty "This Lamb Sells Condos", the gorgeous "The Butcher" and the almost ferocious "Many Lives". These were all great. The new? songs also sounded great. Especially the last song which I believe is called "Lewis Takes Off His Short". Pallet said he didn't like the song as they have recently recorded it, but it certainly was a success live. A short break then saw him return for an encore, taking requests from the crowd. Thankfully he played "The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead", which was a joy to hear. Another quick break ensued before he returned to play a beautiful rendition of Joanna Newsom's "Peach Plum Pear". Quite superb. As was the night. Pallett is a singularly talented performer. He has quite ethereal voice, that surprises with its power. His musical style is almost anachronistic too. Quite theatrical, very classical and definitely enjoyable.

Set List
About Face? (new song)
This Lamb Sells Condos
The Man With No Ankles
The Butcher
Flare Gun
E Is For Estranged
Lewis Takes Action
Many Lives -> 49MP
He Poos Clouds
This Is The Dream Of Win and Regine
Lewis Takes Off His Shirt

What Do You Think Will Happen Next?
The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead

Peach Plum Pear

I struggled a little with the setlist (with some new songs), but this is my best crack at it. Sean was also there and has a report on the night.


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