Before I review a sublime, almost perfect show, I would like to give some thoughts that I had last night. Firstly, Woods
mean a lot to me. A lot. You could say I love them. They have that blend of music that I can NOT resist. Killer melodies, falsetto voice and massive guitar jams. They combine for a potent and mind blowing mix. Before the show I was talking to the girl and trying to explain my excitement for the show. Besides the reasons stated, it was a personal connection to the band. I buy a lot of music on the web. Discovering new bands and seeking out their website and ordering the CDs. Often bands are distinctly DIY. The CDs arrive in the mail with my address hand written and sometimes little notes of thanks inside. Not only am I getting joy from new music, but I am also hopefully helping the band survive a little longer. A few years ago I discovered Woods
. I heard a song called "Hunover" and fell in love. Soon the CD arrived. "At Rear House" was wonderful. It had handwritten notes and a deeply personal touch. But it also felt a mystery. I was listening from the other side of the world and I had no idea who Woods were. Who was in the band. What they looked like. I could only imagine. But I had the music. Perhaps I was the only person in Australia listening to them. It certainly felt like it. They were mine. I loved them. Then the love grew. Each year this prolific band would release an album. I would keep ordering CDs. Each album better than the last. I'm sure others were listening, but they still felt like my personal band. Soon I would read interviews and see photographs. I would know what Jeremy Earl looked like. They were real. They had jobs and lives. But they were still churning out this amazing music. Fast forward to 2013 and they have landed in Australia for the first time. On the back of the magnificent "Bend Beyond". It was actually available locally. Their audience was growing. But how much? Not much it would seem.
Saturday night they played to a below capacity crowd at Goodgod
. We were the few. The dedicated few. But why so few? As yesterday was Australia Day, Hottest 100 parties were every where. But Woods were no where to be seen. Of course I didn't expect them to feature. Hell, even Grizzly Bear and Beach House got shut out. Taste, hey? It's unfathomable and inconceivable. Mediocre bands Like Ball Park Music and The Rubens feature heavily whilst a band as great as Woods goes empty. Why? Their music is tangible and personal. The melodies are sublime. They have everything. Pitchfork love them. But still. Anyway the lucky few who were there last night were treated to all that is great about music.
They played for an hour. No more. No encore. But this was ecstasy. This was everything I had hoped for. They reached across a few albums as well. Songs like "Suffering Season" and "Is It Honest" are perfectly melodic gems. As is "Cali in a Cup". "Rain On" was dappled shards of light. "Size Meets the Sounds" was everything the name implied. Huge. But "Bend Beyond" was the hugest (Is that a word?). Famous already in its live rendition, it soared and enveloped us. Devouring us with guitars as big as mountains. But it was the end that reached into the stratosphere. Two slabs of goodness from "At Echo Lake". "Blood Dries Darker" had me squealing with delight, then "I Was Gone" was turned from a two minute firebomb into a fifteen minute shredder. Easily displaying all the considerable talents of this band. Jarvis Taveniere plies a 12 string guitar that is almost mandolin in shape. It emits warm and rich tones. Kevin Morby is centre stage holding his bass guitar high under his armpits. He is an expert on bass. Also I nice guy, I spoke to him after the show. But I didn't get to speak to Jeremy Earl. The lead singer stands to the right. Hidden from the light. But he is an extraordinary guitar player. Shredding and attacking his guitar with ferocity and immense control. If I hadf spoken to him I think I would have simply thanked him. Thanked him for the great music he has given us. Thanked him for continuing to illuminate this world. Glowing brightly.
Cali in a Cup
Size Meets the Sound
Is It Honest?
Be All Be Easy
Find Them Empty
Blood Dries Darker
I Was Gone