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Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Cabaret Music Hall - Nov. 29

Posted by Valerie / November 30, 2007

Indie-folk singer / songwritter Elvis Perkins was presenting a live version of his debut album Ash Wednesday last night at Cabaret. His music being usually mellow and acoustic, Perkins revealed a much more energetic side to his songs by having a band accompany him on stage. The opening act was Bon Iver, another great new singer / songwritter who carefuly set the mood right and received very good reviews on his debut album as well.

Bon Iver, (pronounced "bon hiver" just like in French) was very impressive. I hadn't listened to anything from "him" before but I had noticed he got a great record review on Pitchfork and I kind of got curious at that point.
Justin Vernon, the man behind Bon Iver, has a very contrasting voice - he sings in a high-pitched voice but almost sounds like Barry White in between songs. His acoustic music is very smooth, comforting and almost melancholic.

Elvis Perkins shortly came on stage and started his set alone with his guitar. Ash Wednesday is a beautiful album with a tragic inspiration (Perkin's mother was in one of the planes that crashed on 9/11, and his father died of AIDS when Perkins was 16) and the first part of hsi set really represented the intimacy of his songs.


Then a few minutes later, the band joined him on stage to offer a new version of the album. It's in these cases you can really tell if an album is good or not - when the "live band" songs still make sense, are still enjoyable and make you go through different emotions from when they are acoustic, that's when you know they are good songs, and Elvis Perkins easily prooved himself on that.

His indie-folk music is inspired by oldies music and it shows on every song. On top of that he played a cover from - apparently - a 1860s song. I was glad Perkins chose to have the venue play some oldies stuff in between bands too - that really was a change.

Overall, it was an interesting and refreshing show with two acts indie-folk lovers will become more familiar with soon.

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