Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine
I’m back from a relaxing week in sunny Panama! Here’s what I saw:
Back to business. I’d gotten four hours of sleep the night before because I went to see Mumford & Sons in Boston, but I was absolutely determined not to miss Cleveland’s The Lighthouse and the Whaler. My friend Shea introduced them to over a year ago, and we’re definitely ahead of the game on this group. They’ll be famous eventually, so *you can look them up now and be “in the know,” or you can wait until everyone else knows about them, too.
Bartlett and I met up with our friends Erika and Dave at El Rayo for dinner. Have you had their pineapple with sea salt and chili powder? So good. We made our way over to Port City Music Hall just in time to take our second row center spots as TLATW took the stage. I’d already decided that even though Jukebox the Ghost was headlining and I like them, I just wasn’t up for staying out again that late two nights in a row on school nights and was going to go home after the second act, Matt Pond.
The Lighthouse and the Whaler stole the night anyhow. The multi instrumentalists traded instruments seamlessly and danced gracefully about the stage (note the blurry photos) as they played lovely pop songs. They reminded me a lot of Milo Greene, who I first saw and fell in love with in 2011, and who are finally now playing on the radio. (See above*). The Lighthouse and the Whaler plays pretty, ethereal music that was relatively upbeat in person. I have listened to their self-titled album a lot of times and really like it. I love their love song, “Venice,” and was glad to hear it live. Bartlett and I talked to Mark and Steve from the band later and they were so nice and appreciated our kind words. I’m always happy to see talented musicians who are humble and take the time to talk to their fans. Please, please, please check out this band. Here’s a link to their set on Seattle’s KEXP. You’ll be hearing more from them.
Bartlett and I hung around for the long transition to Matt Pond’s set. I’d downloaded his EP, The Natural Lines, from NoiseTrade and like it a lot. I was expecting a guy and an acoustic guitar (much like Iron & Wine), but the set up indicated a full band show. The sound check took a long time and was kind of useless. I couldn’t hear Matt’s lyrics from the second row, and the music with a full band just didn’t do it for me. Besides that, Matt was awkward with the audience. He told us he’d gone to high school in New Hampshire, but had hurried out of that place. Maybe not the best way to win over an audience. He had a heckler in the crowd and gave the guy too much attention so it just continued. I think we were the first night of the tour, so maybe he was just nervous and working out the kinks. His new album, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand, had come out the day before and he was off to play on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a couple of nights later. I prefer his older, acoustic stuff. As always, I want readers to make up their own minds, so check out Matt Pond’s “Love To Get Used” and see what you think.
Bartlett and I decided we weren’t into it most of the way through Matt’s set, so we took off for the night at 9:45 and I was home at 10:30 on a school night! Seeing just The Lighthouse and the Whaler’s full set was absolutely worth the drive and effort.