On The List :: Fanfarlo @ Bowery Ballroom [9.21.09]

This review runs on Bowery's House List blog.

Monday was already moving. Months ago, the show scheduled for Mercury Lounge shifted to Bowery Ballroom. Fanfarlo, a group of prog-folk, Arcade Fire-lite Brits, inspired a ticket-buying run that forced a venue change, only to sell-out on the next level. Perhaps more simply, this band put five times as many people as were originally expected in Bowery last night. This would be like making reservations for six, and having thirty people show up. Frankly, you had no idea you had this many friends. Multiplication is almost never a bad thing.

The band opened with "Drowning Men," a normally thudding meditation on statis. Tonight, it was just three band members, a stripped down and haunting version of the original. But three became four and five and six as the full band spilled to the stage for second song, "I'm A Pilot." It was a relief, but specifically it was a surprising clown car of multi-instrumental musicians. The band then played "Finish Line," unironically near the beginning, and the elevating "Harold T. Wilkins ..." The set built backwards to the finish.

All this funneled down to the last song of the main set (the band would play two encores). As their nominal closer" "Luna" stomped and bucked to its finish. The band's leadsinger began by slamming an auxillery drum at the front of the stage and ended the night with a solo on clarinet. It was a moment that pictured range and the crowd was happy to move along with the band. You could look and see what was happening, it was on stage and all around, times four or even five.

Listen :: Fanfarlo - "Luna"
Listen :: Fanfarlo - "Finish Line"
Listen :: Fanfarlo - "I'm A Pilot"

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