"I'm Gonna Play A Bunch Of New Songs. Sorry!" Final Fantasy - Live At The West End

>> Sunday, 4 October 2009

Did the back-to-back-Final-Fantasy-shows-at-the-West-End thing this weekend, and after a string of disappointing concerts, seeing Owen Pallet live cured what ailed me both figuratively and literally (I had an unshakable, at-times-immobilizing cold all week which finally improved on Friday and was nearly gone by Saturday night). Coincidence? I think not.


Pallett continued his remarkable streak of bringing along ridiculously great opening acts with him, this time touring with Polaris long-lister Timber Timbre (previous evening starters included the endlessly entertaining Bob Wiseman and the lovely and talented Basia Bulat). Timber Timbre's stark, intimate, and kinda creepy chamber folk record is one of my favourite albums of 2009, and his live performance reinforced this. Timber Timbre, aka Taylor Kirk, has this big and arresting ghost-storyteller voice that is equally enchanting and menacing. What an experience.



Friday night was the third time I've seen the wiry, violin-wielding Mr. Pallett live at the West End, and this was probably the best set I've seen. I qualify that statement with "probably" since I'm still kinda high on the whole FF live experience and need a few days to calm down before I can honestly compare it with past performances.

Gone: The Dungeons & Dragons overhead projector show & assistant.
In: A band member!

Joining Pallett onstage was a guitarist/drummer who added some much-needed texture to the live show and the new material. The majority of the set was comprised of new entries to Pallett's Palette (sorry, couldn't resist), so Friday night quite possibly marked the first time in music history that an audience didn't care about an artist playing mostly green stuff.

Unfortunately, Timber Timbre was only around for the Friday show, so that was a bit of a bummer on Saturday, but local and eclectic singer-songwriter Ingrid Gatin opened up, and I thought she was pretty great. Certainly one to have on the radar. Final Fantasy's set on Saturday was shorter than Friday's and changed up a bit. He removed a few numbers from Has A Good Home and inserted a delectable cover of Lykke Li's "Dance Dance Dance", which was almost as fun as his take on Mariah Carey's "Sweet Fantasy."

Truth be told, I was perfectly okay with the slightly shorter set length, since I desperately wanted to check out this year's Edmonton Oilers squad for the first time on HNIC. They ended up losing in the final minute. The lone glitch of the weekend.

Infinite Playlist: Volcano Choir - Unmap

4 comments:

Rieds 5 October 2009 at 14:25  

I caught the Friday show. Awesome set.

willllllllllll,  5 October 2009 at 18:38  

yeah i caught the friday night - fantastic. really enjoyed timber timbre too. got to say i felt really at ease with the table set-up too, very hands off and relaxed. you could really just sit back and enjoy it.

D.F. 6 October 2009 at 12:10  

That Timbre Timbre album is stunning. Too bad I missed his set.

Phil H 7 October 2009 at 18:09  

I went on Saturday and was quite impressed. This was my 3rd time seeing FF and I must say, Owen just seemed so much more confident and relaxed up there. I wish I could have heard his band mate's guitar a bit better though. It kind of got drowned out by all the looping.

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