Sunday, April 6, 2008

Caribou @ Bowery Ballroom - Fri Mar 28, 2008

Brad Weber

I heard yesterday that Brad Weber, the drummer of Caribou's live shows, fell from a ladder and fractured his wrist. I have no idea how Dan Snaith, aka Caribou, is gonna replace him, because to me he is the best drummer I have ever seen live, displacing LCD Soundsystem's Pat Mahoney from his throne, and together with multi-instrumentalist Dan Snaith, the heart of Caribou's show. Seriously, you can't take your eyes off from Brad while he hits those drums like if it was the last time he is going to, and man, he enjoys it so much that makes you wish you were able to do it too.

Before the show started I was already thinking all the good things I was going to write about Dan Snaith's live show, since this is the second time I see him and no record on this blog was around, but then Brad took the protagonism of the show as he started playing... let's skip then the usual admiration for my fellow Math Ph.D. musician. Besides, I think most of you already know and/or have read how genius and capable of giving life to his very computarized music Dan Snaith is.

The show started right away with one of my very favorite tracks on Andorra, Sundialing. Andorra is Caribou's latest album and the one that introduced me to Dan's music, but I don't think it is his finest to date. The Milk of Human Kindness is for me his truly masterpiece, so far, and off from such a great album Caribou continued their show with Brahminy Kite, without stopping. If you happen to have The Milk with you right now, please play that song and tell me whether you know someone on earth who can reproduce those drums live. Well, Brad Weber and Dan Snaith, together, they can and they will make you feel you owe them more than the $25 you paid to be in the same room with them.

The show continued with an ok version of Melody Day, which live doesn't sound as powerful to me as it does on record, and a gift to old-school fans from the era of Manitoba, Skunks, off the album Up In Flames. They played a couple more songs of that album, Bijoux and Crayon, after the standout Yeti from The Milk, and over all did a great job taking as back and forth all along Snaith's discography. They also played After Hours and She is the One from Andorra, and for my pleasure, A Final Warning, Bees, Hello Hammerheads and Barnowl from The Milk (yes!).

Barnowl was particularly amazing. The bassist and second guitarist kicked really hard giving us lots of distortion and feedback while the awesome double drummers were taking care of the beat like no others. Dan and Brad would hit their drum sets pretty much in a complementary way... when one was hitting the other one was about to do it too. It was perfect.

My only complain would be that since the drums were up in front of the stage, as they should be for this band, the bass was making vibrate the hell out of it and the noise coming from that vibration sometimes would arruine Dan's vocals, especially during Melody Day. So ok, not everything was perfect... but almost.

I wish Caribou had played some chill tracks from Up in Flames and from Start Braking My Heart, like Dundas, Ontario and Children Well Play Together, or some hip-hop influenced tracks from The Milk, but they did not, and they probably won't. Their show's strength is precisely what they do most of the time and it will be right there in front of you... it will be two unbelievable drummers showing you how to get it done. [photos of the show]


Were you at the show? How did you like it?

Caribou Links: Stream Andorra, Official Website, MySpace, Wiki, YouTube, at Merge Records.


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