Sara Kauss, Getty Images for St Jude Country Music Marathon Sarah Darling might be…
- Posted on Jun 4th 2010 10:00AM by Jason Cohen
A cheer went up as the band opened with the 'Furr' ballad 'Black River Killer,' with the harmonies between Earley and curly-haired, red-headed foil Marty Marquis now as worn-in as a pair of muddy boots. "We've got a bunch of new music tonight," Earley promised, heading into 'Laughing Love,' the first of several tracks from 'Destroyers of the Void,' which officially comes out via Sub Pop on Tuesday (it was already on sale at the show). It's a layered, Todd Rundgren-like pop song and a real showcase for keyboardist Drew Laughery, who stayed tucked back in a corner on the right side of the stage.
Then came the title track, which starts out a cappella (and refers to Kansas with its reference to a "wayward son"), becomes ornamental, orchestrated white soul and finally, prog-rock, with a noisy, rhythmic bridge that cries out for a light show.
"You're young and beautiful and you're at a cool concert," Marquis told the crowd. "You're drunk. This is the life." ("It smells just like Amsterdam in here," he later added.)
Songs like 'Lady in the Water' and the old live favorite 'The Man Who Would Speak True' showed off the band's increasingly contemplative storytelling side, but 'Furr' got people revved back up. 'Sleepytime in the Western World' was anything but somnolent, with Earley stripping down to his white ribbed undershirt for guitar heroics that continued right through 'Wild Mountain Nation.' Erik Menteer, who like Laughery, is a largely quiet presence at the side, stood out playing lead guitar on that one.
This was followed by a three-song encore that included the Dixie-flavored 'Big Black Bird' and the always, freaky drum-pounding intense 'Devil's a Go-Go,' with Marquis swapping his guitar for a shaker and a cowbell. "Good job, people," he'd said upon the band returning to the stage. "This was not an obligatory encore situation! Unison clapping is a great tool."
Blitzen Trapper play Bozeman, Mont. Friday and Fargo, N.D. on June 6 before heading to Omaha, Atlanta and then Bonnaroo on June 10.