Nature, reflection and emotion meet headlong in Great Lake Swimmers
They periodically come down out of Canada to share their latest observations on life, love and the eternal struggle, usually accompanied with a new album. As a long time fan of Great Lake Swimmers it was most gratifying to see them reach an apex of their career as a performing band on Friday night, June 12th at The Troubadour. Fueled by the impact of their latest album, A Forest of Arms, their live performance was robust and energetic, not the usual laid back wistfulness I was used to. And love.
|Tony Dekker, Erik Arnesen|
I arrived in time to enjoy the opening act, Tamara Lindeman of The Weather Station, also from Canada and on tour with GLS as a solo singer/songwriter in the early Joni Mitchell tradition. And she appeared worthy of the comparison with songs about relationships and the passage of life that had a rare and appealing quality. Her lovely soprano was strong and flexible, allowing her to explore upper, bird-like registers, but remaining robust in the mid ranges. I asked her about her band after the set and she usually plays with three other musicians. I would love to see that.
The set included ten of the twelve songs on the new album, with a sampling from their past like "Moving Pictures" and "Your Rocky Spine", all greeted with the same enthusiasm from a loving audience. They perform with all the enthusiasm and vigor of a new band
And I really underestimated their last album, New Wild Everywhere, because it came out on top of a bunch of other records that buried it at the time. Revisiting it now, I see it as one of their strongest records and a real precursor for what was to come on the new album.
1. Something Like A Storm
2. Zero In The City
3. One More Charge At The Red Cape
4. Don't Leave Me Hanging...
5. ...I Was A Wayward Pastel Boy
6. Put There By The Land...
7. ...Pulling On A Line
8. I Must Have Someone Else's Blues
9. The Great Bear
10. Your Rocky Spine
11. A Bird Flew Inside The House
12. Chorus Underground / Moving Pictures
13. Palmistry / The Great Exhale
14. Expecting You
15. Easy Come Easy Go
16. Shaking All Over
Encore: Still / Long May You Run