I had a great time at the St. Vincent et. al. show at the Middle East downstairs last night. Terri already wrote it up, and I pretty much agree with assessment of the evening’s acts. I figured St. Vincent was going to be great, and they delivered.
But the big surprise for me was the opening act, Basia Bulat (and her band deserves some credit too because they were pretty great). It’s a little more straight up poppy and less edgy than the stuff than I usually go for (one of her songs was apparently used in a VW commercial, which I guess isn’t as bad as it sounds since some all-time-favorites have been in VW commercials). But her songs were solid, and they just radiated such youthful optimism that it was pretty hard to not like her and the band: they just looked so excited to be on stage and playing their music, and they just kept smiling. She had me at the first song; this tiny person goes out and starts singing a capella with this huge voice and instantly won over all the too-cool-for-school hipsters at the middle east.
And the autoharp, featured in about half the songs, is charming. Here’s some video I shot (again, with Terri in rock photographer mode, we got there early and stuck to the front, hence the awesome vantage point for said video).
Oh, and there’s an actual video for that song, with infinitely better sound quality, at the Basia Bulat site.