Megafaun - Iota - June 8, 2010
This is why we exist: the Megafaun show on Tuesday of last week went overly unnoticed in local media and the crowd was way too thin. Sure, it was a competitive evening--Strasburg's debut, Dave Rawlings at 9:30, James Taylor & Carole King at the Verizon Center. And it took me too long to get the review up, due to life-related time constraints. But we are megafans of Megafaun and it is our duty to tell you, once again, how frigging good their set was, and how upset you should be that you missed it.
The evening began with quirky opener Sam Quinn and his "band" Japan Ten (really, it was just half the duo). He's very much a southern Benjy Ferree; one hardly expects such a sweet voice to come from such a strange dude. Similar style too: Benjy's a little less country, Sam's a little less rock and roll. And his voice sounds eerily like the guy from The Format. It's easy to listen to, pretty average, but his deadpan humor kept me from falling asleep. Kind of enjoyable.
Then Megafaun came on, and one thing was noticeably missing--Phil's beard! Apparently, it hurts to play the harmonica with facial hair. This being my third time seeing the band, I noticed different things about their set this time: the true jazz influence of the drummers' technique, the intensity with which the band gears up for the end-of-song jams that--while expected--still always surprise me, and the more obvious emergence of Phil Cook as the trio's leader. I'm not a huge fan of their brand of jamming, I will admit--it feels sort of out of place in places, and it's normally where I'd hit the "next" button. But I appreciate the originality of coupling their brand of beautiful bluegrass with a style that is anything but.
What you missed: wonderful renditions of the new songs Volunteers and Carolina Days, and at one point, the band stepped off-stage and into the audience for yet another quieting and lovely rendition of The Longest Day. Their sincerity and generosity as musicians--it never gets old. I always leave feeling very appreciated by the band, a band whose music is so good, you forget that they are newbies on the scene.
So do yourself, and this band, a favor: keep in touch. Because in a world full of overnight one-hit wonders, it would be a shame to see them slip through the cracks.
Thanks to www.rowjimmy.com for the setlist.
The Process Volunteers
Impressions Of The Past
The Longest Day*
Where We Belong
*songs played offstage