Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plants and Animals: Seattle Concert Review @ Nectar (3-17-09)

Plants and Animals' St. Patty's Day Spectacular

Last night, amongst all the Guinness specials and ridiculously green-clad Ireland fanatics, a fantastic show unfolded in the heart of Fremont. Seattlelites looking to duck out of the nasty weather found solitude by nestling into the tiny venue that is Nectar Lounge. After a nice, short opening set by local act Hypatia Lake, three dudes from Montreal took the stage, and with very little introduction, the jams began. After the first verse of "Lola Who?" hit my ears, the mounds of stress from my long day quickly melted away. Finally, I was hearing Plants and Animals live!

But how was this power trio going to replicate the lush orchestrations of the beautifully composed Parc Avenue? As we soon found out, Nicolas Basque - Québecois multi-instrumental extraordinaire - would provide much of the textured sounds that we all know and love. Though he is just one man, songs like "Bye Bye Bye" had him switching between guitar, synth, bass, and autoharp. Meanwhile, Warren Spicer's voice was spot-on superb, howling over the floor-room chatter. Drummer Matthew Woodley (aka the Woodman) completed the ensemble, banging the sticks all night long with robotic-precision. The band played a lengthy set, treating us to two new songs (the first had an epic feel, actually sounding more like three songs crammed into one). Highlights of the night included the very energetic renditions of "Mercy(!)" and "Feedback in the Field", as well as the powerful climax during "New Kind of Love". A fitting "Bye Bye Bye" closed the night, yet the crowd amassed to produce a full-on chant for one more song. Plants and Animals returned to the stage, and left us with a +12 minute version of "Guru/Sinnerman". With the occasional friendly banter, Plants and Animals put together one amazing night full of the hits. I heard every song I wanted, and left a very happy man. A set list is posted below, though my memory of the order escapes me.

Set List (not the exact order of songs)
Lola Who?
Good Friend
New Song #1
Faerie Dance
A New Kind of Love
Sea Shanty
A L'orée Des Bois
Feedback in the Field
New Song #2
Bye Bye Bye