Friday, October 01, 2010

Light and dark

Honestly, I wasn't much in the mood to go to the concert I had a ticket for tonight. I hadn't lost interest in the band. Work stress had simply taken its toll on me. So bless the openers, local band Super Desserts, whose sunshine pop lifted my spirits at the end of what has been a rough week.

Super Desserts - On Sunday from Ohio Sessions on Vimeo.

This was my first time seeing a show at The Basement, and I was a bit thrown by how small it is. The "pit" in front of the stage might comfortably accommodate roundabout forty people. More can fit in between the fit and the soundboard and around the sides of the stage, but still, this is a smaller venue than I was already envisioning. It struck me as a more spacious version of Stache's, a fire hazard of a small club that is long gone from the scene.

It turns out that a significant percentage of the people milling around before the music started are in Super Desserts. A mere seven band members took the stage. Apparently they were short at least two others.

Cello, viola, ukulele, bass clarinet, melodica, and xylophone made their way into the mix during the 45-minute set of cheery pop. A musical similarity to Belle & Sebastian exists, although Super Desserts' compositions didn't sound as intricate, at least in a live setting.

Their cover of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was unexpected and sort of exhilarating, because who in the world is going to try to put their own stamp on that Pet Sounds classic? With nearly enough people to field a baseball team on stage, it was worth them taking a crack at it, and I thrilled when they transitioned into the bridge. They also did a fine job on Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's "Our House".

The airiness of Super Desserts, an appropriately named band if ever there was one, contrasted nicely with the brooding songs of headlining duo Wye Oak. They made a mighty racket, and I enjoyed hearing them. They were, after all, who I'd come to see.

So, for a night out that I wasn't feeling up to, it hit the spot. The lightness of Super Desserts and darkness of Wye Oak was an inspired pairing, and I departed in a better mood than when I arrived. I even left with one of the local band's CDs, and I almost never do that.

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