The New Pornographers @ Liberty Hall // 07.26.10

Call me racist, but Canadian supergroups are all the same: earnest, talented, and typically unable to include any less than nine musicians on the stage at the same time. (Last I checked, Broken Social Scene was still touring in a clown car commandeered from the circus.) Regardless of these stereotypical exhibitions of northern overexposure, one has to admit that the result is nothing less than impressive when it comes to a live display of musical prowess, especially for the New Pornographers.

Built on hard-driving tempos and a “wall of sound” approach to vocals (why sing solo when five voices will kick things up a notch or three), the Vancouver nontet did their best to fire up a relatively subdued crowd at Liberty Hall. Breakout solo talent Neko Case, who spent most of the evening unabashedly wrestling with her wild mane of red hair, certainly stood out from her compatriots with a mile-wide voice that sounded as if it could ring for days. All in all, this northern sound front was a welcome relief from the humid haunts of our midwestern summer.

While the New Pornographers delivered as expected, the upstart honors were certainly earned by the San Francisco trio The Dodos. Built on acoustic intricacies and carefully crafted sonic pyrotechnics, the crowd was quickly won over by the group’s contributions to the festivities — a band well worth keeping tabs on moving forward.

Be sure to check out the thoroughly chronicled (though perhaps overly effusive) review of the evening’s festivities on the Pitch’s Wayward Blog. For a more appropriately reserved take, give Mr. Brownlee’s Back to Rockville review a gander. My pics are below.

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[Full Disclosure: Thanks to Ashley at Tell All Your Friends PR for info about the Dodos and access to the show!]