On The List :: Rural Alberta Advantage @ Music Hall of Williamsburg [8.4.09]

This review runs @ Bowery's The House List.

It is the (bad) habit of live music reviews (and reviewers) to reduce an evening down to a singular moment. It typically is the first or last song, or the loudest or quietest moment of the night, wherein we substitute dynamics for substance. This crutch is as reductionist as it is not useful. In the case of band like Rural Alberta Advantage, to reduce their live performance at Music Hall of Williamsburg to a single moment would be an indie rock Sophie's Choice. There are bands who have one moment and there are bands who have many. Rural Alberta Advantage is not a band of one moment.

In a peculiar rarity, the Tuesday night show was both loaded and free. Escaping the contradictions, Rural Alberta, now a comfortable headliner, took the stage after 11, unloading their catalogue on a waiting and studied audience. Running through album favorites "Frank AB," "Don't Haunt This Place," and "Four Night Rider" in rapid succession, the band moved itself along in typically self-deprecating fashion. Lead singer, Nils Edenloff, after an unsuccessful explanation of "Four Night Rider," reflected, "well, I guess I need to learn how to tell stories." He will later tell us that they, "can't wait to come play here again." It is exactly the type of magnanimity that Americans so secretly envy in their Canadian neighbors.

We won't shrink the set down to these moments. Edenloff already tells great stories. It is we who need context. And we, along with greater and greater numbers, will have no choice but to see them again.

Listen :: Rural Alberta Advantage - "Don't Haunt This Place"
Bonus :: Rural Alberta Advantage - "Frank, AB"

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