Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sam Roberts Band w/ Jets Overhead @ Malkin Bowl -- 05/28/11

It has been far too long since three things happened: I've seen Jets Overhead live, I've seen Sam Roberts Band live, and I've seen a show at Malkin Bowl. And it was a gorgeous day to combine these three things last night. Fun fact*: The first time I saw Sam Roberts Band was also the first time I saw Jets Overhead. They were opening on a bill that was Jets, The Stills, Broken Social Scene, and SRB.
*fact not guaranteed to be fun.

Due to some aggravation with parking -- namely, waiting in line for 15 minutes to pay -- I missed the first song or two of Jets Overhead, running up to the park with "No Nations" in the distance.
They were on top of their game in the shining sun, with their infection melodies and catchy harmonies. They played mostly off their last full length, No Nations, but also had a few off Bridges and the newest EP, Bystander. The title track from the EP was definitely one of the highlights, with its soaring vocals, as well as a stripped down and acoustic-y "Where Did You Go?" and the simmering "Fully Shed". And the set came to a dynamic ending with the almost seven minute "Tired of the Comfort", building to an intense climax. And an awesome rock-star-jumping-scissor-kick from Adam.
They mentioned in the set recording a new album, which I am definitely looking forward to.

Setlist (may be a bit off at the beginning)
No Nations, Fully Shed, Seems So Far, Sure Sign, First Time, Where Did You Go, Bystander, I Should Be Born, Heading For Nowhere, Tired of the Comfort.

And then hitting the stage promptly at 8:15 (it was an early show) was Sam Roberts Band. They kicked off with "I Feel You", the lead single off the first album, psyching everyone up right off the bat. From there they played what ended up being a nearly two hour set with songs from all over their catalogue. The whole band had a great energy, especially Sam, but especially guitarist Dave Nugent, who couldn't seem to be still for more than a minute. They definitely had the crowd engaged from the very beginning, too, with lots of singing along, especially to the older hits like "Hard Road", "Where Have All The Good People Gone?" and "Brother Down"; the latter two had Sam hold the mic out for the crowd to sing parts of the chorus.
Most of the set was focused on the faster songs, but there were a couple moments where he slowed it down, like "Lions of the Kalahari", and he swapped for an acoustic guitar a few times, most notably for "Bridge to Nowhere". And while some of the newer stuff didn't quite pop as much as the older, there were still some great moments, like the pounding rhythms and rock sax of "Let It In" and the heartbreaking "Partition Blues". The sun was setting just as he finished the main set with "The Last Crusade" off the new album, but they were, of course, back out for a few more hits, ending the encore with "Them Kids", sending everyone into a frenzy.
At this point I was satisfied, if a little disappointed they didn't play my favourite song, "Mind Flood". But then, my worries were for naught as they hit the stage one more time and launched into its ten minute glory of swirling, psychedelic guitars for an incredible end to an already great show.

Not surprisingly, it was a fantastic show from a pair of bands that never fail to put on a great live show, in one of the cities best venues.

setlist
I Feel You, With A Bullet, Fixed to Ruin, Let It In, Lions of the Kalahari, Graveyard Shift, Hard Road, Up Sister, Partition Blues, Bridge to Nowhere, The Band vs The World, Where Have All The Good People Gone?, Without A Map, Brother Down, The Last Crusade.
(encore), Streets of Heaven (Promises, Promises), Detroit '67, Don't Walk Away Eileen, Them Kids.
(double encore) Mind Flood.

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