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Review Sun Nov 14 2010

Review: Twin Shadow and Glasser @ Lincoln Hall 11/13

Brooklyn based Twin Shadow and L.A. based Glasser are sort of like the odd couple as far as concert pairings go. Twin Shadow is the "Wonder Years" set to velvety new wave vocals and dreamy '80s synthesizer. Glasser is more like "Dark Shadows" set to bewitching Enya meets Fever Ray vocals and complicated layers of instrumentation. The only common element between the two musician's sets was an overachieving fog machine. But Felix and Oscar made it work and the Lincoln Hall crowd seemed to think that Twin Shadow and Glasser did too.

Silhouetted in a red-lit cloud of smoke, Twin Shadow's George Lewis, Jr. entered the stage and launched into a set that sounded like flipping through a photo album to a new wave soundtrack. In a golden haze, the four piece band took the crowd back to secret handshakes and bike riding suburban cul-de-sacs with warm synth supported vocals in "Yellow Balloon". And then, with throbbing drum beats, flipped ahead to pre-pubescent crushes in "Tyrant Destroyer". Lewis' sincere whisper lured the crowd into his muted adolescent longings ("As if it wasn't enough to hear you speak / They had to give you lips like that"). Finally, frustrated with the whole thing, Lewis insisted in "Slow" that he "doesn't want to believe or be in love" in a high anathematic chorus sung over electric guitar riffs building to his dramatic finish.

Turning away from scrapbook memories, Lewis dropped the crowd into a (retrospective) new wave dance party "Castle in the Snow". The heavily fuzzed bass and rich electronic textures complimented his hardened New Order-esq vocals ("You're my favorite day dream / I'm your famous nightmare"). Lewis' cold emotions percolated early on and rose to a few guttural-belted screams by the song close.

The 30 minute set change was a sorbet-like pallet-cleanser. The Lincoln Hall staff switched out the synthesizers for pink and gold streamer-cloaked instruments. Perhaps the streamers made sense? Glasser's instruments don't actually make the sound they were designed to produce. In other words, the guitar doesn't always sound like a guitar. Glasser uses a MIDI application for live performances. MIDI is the man behind the curtain (or the interface behind the streamers, as the case may be). The application makes a guitar chord be a violin, or saxophone or other ambient noises and whistles. Shrouded in fog, the keyboardist was first to emerge to an eerily slow drum beat.

Ethereal vocals reverberated through the fog as Glasser, aka Cameron Mesirow, became a visible figure draped in red, hunched over her microphone. She proceeded to lull out Enya-like chants of "morning" interspersed with more experimental "wha, wha, wha" vocal yelps. Throughout the set, Mesirow gyrated and swayed over and around her microphone in a trance like state. Under her spell, each haunting song seemed to run into the other. "Home" swirled around the audience and pulled them in with warm, clear vocal tones and orchestral arrangements. She persuaded (most) of the crowd to forget where they were and, as the lyrics to the song T suggest, "let yourself be surrounded and protected". Unfortunately, in 40 minutes Glasser managed to play every song she has, which didn't really provide for an encore. But, Mesirow, sans band, did treat the audience to a tragic folklore in a cappella before the stage went dark.

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Rebecca Hyland / November 17, 2010 1:06 PM

Oh Oscar, Oscar...OSCAR! Great job! ;o)

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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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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
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Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
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Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
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Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
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Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
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Theft Liable to Prosecution
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UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
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