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Concert Tue Jun 23 2009

Review: The Sea and Cake, Dirty Projectors @ Millennium Park 6/22/09

The rain broke, the heat rose with the sun, and there was a free show Monday night at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. Oh, I was there. The lawn was not quite a Decemberists-level crush of blanket sitters, but the crowd was lively and comfortably dressed in the sundress and bicycle cuff style. Beer was purchased (or brown-bagged), wine was shared, and cheese was added to crackers. The excitement peaked as the sun slid behind the Michigan Avenue wall and a collective sigh rose as Dirty Projectors hit the stage.

Swinging through through hits like "Stillness is the Move" and "Cannibal Resource" and from their latest album, Bitte Orca, the harmonies between Angel Deradoorian and Amber Coffman were magical in the haze of the slow burn of the evening. From where I was sitting, in that soft light, I couldn't make out the band well, but I could clearly see two members of Broken Social Scene (in town to do some recording at Soma with Sea and Cake's John McEntire) Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew sitting, socializing and enjoying the music. You know, there is something very BSS-like in the harmonies and loops that Dirty Projectors utilize. I can see how that's up in their wheelhouse.

DP closed with a seemingly truncated version of "Knotty Pine" (Byrne-less, sadly), but the Park was keeping a tight schedule. [Note: Later Monday night, after heading off toward Detroit, the band got into a car accident. It seems like the initial reports of serious injuries were false, but they're scrapping two shows in Canada and heading to NYC to regroup.]

Starting right on time were the evening's headliners The Sea and Cake, all business and down to it. Unfortunately clocked in as the "older" band by some of the less-familiar in the crowd, Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt led the fellas through the set beautifully and really gained some new fans Monday night. The sound was something else — I repeatedly remarked that the bass was stronger than any other Sea and Cake show I'd heard — in a good way. I felt like even though I was hearing this outdoor performance of great songs like Car Alarm's title track and their older self-titled album tune and audience fave "Jacking the Ball" I was experiencing them for the first time in high fidelity. Likely this is a testament to the fine design of the speakers at the Pritzker. To you, I say, Bravo. I wasn't alone in feeling the love that night — the crowd begat several pockets of bouncy dance circles (one of which spilled over into a post-show drum circle, but that's ok).

Oh, hey, and Andrew Bird was there, too, hanging out with Jay Ryan. Yep, I think I was in the right place Monday night.

[Get in on the fun! Next Monday, the 29th, catch The Feelies and Icy Demons, also for free at the Pritzker Pavilion starting at 7:30pm.]

 
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charlie / June 24, 2009 4:40 PM

Anne,

You summed things up nicely except I simply can't agree with you regarding the sound. I and a few other friend thought it was horrible. No mid-range to speak of...

I'm sure it's a challenging place to mix but I was a little annoyed.

Anne / June 24, 2009 10:08 PM

Charlie- Maybe I found a sweet spot? Dunno.

charlie / June 25, 2009 8:33 AM

Charlie- Maybe I found a sweet spot? Dunno.

Can I have your seat for the Feelie's show please?!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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