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Low w/ Pedro The Lion (Saturday, February 12th, 2005, First Avenue, Minneapolis)
Low - Photo from chairkickers.com website


By Emily Hanson


Minnesota’s own Low graced the stage of First Avenue Saturday night on a double bill with Pedro The Lion to perform to a sold out room. The result was a virtually flawless show with two of the biggest names in the laid back emo/indie scene.

I arrived at 6:30, a half hour after doors, to find a line of ticket-less hopefuls outstretched out along seventh street intent on catching these mellow, must-see groups.

PEDRO THE LION:

Pedro The Lion started the night off on a dry, standstill note. Now, I’m not saying that Low "brings the dance out" of audience, by any means, but that is beside the point. The four piece band, all relatively stout men, surged through a power set, bent on fitting in as many songs as possible with little audience communication, giving a somewhat standoffish feel to their time on stage. At one point, front man David Bazan stated that they had tons songs to bust through in very little time, and that he hoped we would "bear with" them.

Maybe it’s just me, but is it necessary to have to “bear with” the band?

Though their set was solid, it was hard to differentiate one slightly catchy pop-driven song from the next. Bazan’s romance, albeit fleeting, could not save their live show or their songs. The cute love and longing-laced lyrics didn't take them extra mile they so needed to travel to truly capture the audience.

Pedro The Lion’s music would be a good match for the OC—melodious and pop based, yet dark and semi-mysterious. I must admit that I looked around the venue almost expecting to see Adam Brody and the rest of the cast surrounding me.

LOW:

Low, on Saturday night, was phenomenal. The last time I saw them live was with Kid Dakota October 9th, 2004 at The Triple Rock, and Saturday’s performance far surpassed my previous expectations. The trio that hails from Duluth, Minnesota had an untouchable group dynamic. At times it felt as though the audience was intruding and seeing something that they shouldn’t; an intimate time based on musical vignettes played out in harmony, and dry, chilling drums.

The only flaw of Low’s performance was a lyric slip in California, at which point Alan Sparhawk asked the audience and the band for the lyrics. He later said that the song was about his mother, chuckled, and said he should know the words. The loss of words was not minded, and in a way was one of the themes of the night.

I caught myself getting lost in the droning melodies and at times became oblivious to the jam-packed crowd. The eerie harmonies made me--though not driving--want to pull the car over and marvel. I was taken by the intimate set, unexpectedly teary eyed after “Sunflower,” and overcome with chills after so many haunting songs. I walked out the doors of First Avenue with the message that everything will be ok; everything’s all right.

Emily Hanson is emily.hanson@howwastheshow.com


See also Cyn Collins review of this show here.