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Music

A man and his violin: Owen Pallett @ Theatre Outremont

Posted by Gabby / February 22, 2010

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It's not often that we see indie kids out of their element, and yet, as hundreds of them piled into the Théâtre Outremont on Saturday night, something seemed off. I don't think they would have sat down in such fancy-looking seats for anyone other than violinist and composer extraordinaire Owen Pallett, at a concert presented by the Montreal High Lights Festival. Pallett is notable for his contributions, in the form of strings arrangements, to bands like Arcade Fire, Mika, Gentleman Reg, The Hidden Cameras, and Jim Guthrie.

Pallett's opener Diamond Rings certainly knew how to set the tone: off the keyboard was hanging a very pretty unicorn flag, complete with a rainbow and a bright blue sky. At 8:30 sharp, in comes a tall skinny guy wearing zebra-print leggins, bright purple socks and shoes, and a jean jacket. Now, there are several reasons why even chicks shouldn't treat leggins as pants, one of them being that it hides nothing. I was a bit mortified when he turned up his pre-recorded beat and started on his choreography. Over the course of his set, Diamond Rings proved himself to be a decently talented musician and singer, but his antics completely turned me off.

Fortunately enough, it wasn't long before Owen Pallett showed up on the stage and picked up his violin. Having released two albums under the name Final Fantasy, Pallett indulged in short trip down memory lane and played titles like "This is the Dream of Win & Reg", "This Lamb Sells Condos", and "Many Lives -> 49 MP". He also played songs from his latest album, Heartland, released under his own name.

Throughout the show, Pallett plucked, strummed, tapped, and stroked his violin, often using it as a bass, and achieving an incredibly full and layered sound with the help of a few loop pedals. On top of being a remarkable performer, singer and musician, Pallett is incredibly likeable, and if this show is any indication, his career as a music genius is only beginning.

Photo taken from Owen Pallett's Myspace page.

Discussion

9 Comments

Paul / February 23, 2010 at 09:41 am
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I agree with pretty much everything posted here. Awkward arrival... sitting down for a gig always seems weird for me. Was happy about it in the end. :)

Diamond Rings was absolutely fantastic... but sitting down? Euhhh no. Can you imagine how awkward that would have been for him?

As for Owen... he definitely is a musical genius. Having seen him twice live in the past, I stand strongly by my opinion that his new album comes off all wrong live. I got the impression that he still hasn't quite gotten his new loops down perfectly live as he was often playing too quickly or was out of sync. The percussion was off as well... but hey, who am I, the talentless critic, to judge! On a positive note, his older stuff came off perfectly (as usual) and sent chills down my spine. I found myself hugging myself and petting myself to feel the the goosebumps on my arms.

Just my two cents :)
Jer / February 23, 2010 at 04:43 pm
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I'll stick up for Diamond Rings too...in an ironic kitsch kind of way. He had some great melodies, but his tunes are so bouncy they are hard to appreciate sitting down.

I thought Pallett was amazing. New stuff and old stuff. Looping live like that is hard enough when you are just doing one part, but he was constantly looping multiple parts. He never stopped. Timing might have been a bit off in places, but he improvises around it, which makes it even crazier.

All I know is that i was more impressed by the sound and nuance of him and his violin than I was with the entire MSO the last time I saw them.
laura / February 23, 2010 at 05:57 pm
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i'll contribute to the diamond rings appreciation circle. his voice was great, and as a big fan of the national i liked his melodies. and despite the fact that people were restricted from dancing by the seats, he kept a high energy level going...would like to see him again in a dancable venue.

owen pallett was amazing, as expected. i'm harbouring hope that one day i will see him and andrew bird in a violin genius duel!

people can check out a few photos from their recent show at: http://lknogler.blogspot.com/2010/02/lewis-takes-off-his-shirt.html
kanchipuramsarees / January 23, 2019 at 11:28 pm
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kanchipuramsarees / January 23, 2019 at 11:28 pm
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golu dolls / January 23, 2019 at 11:28 pm
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herbal powder / January 23, 2019 at 11:29 pm
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