Caspian - Old South Church, Boston MA October 22, 2010
Old South Church, Boston MA
Friday, October 22, 2010
Support - Aaron Thomas and Marika Whitaker
Being a big fan of the Beverly, MA based band Caspian it is very hard to do a review. Honestly, the band could stand there, go through the motions and I'd still leave the venue a happy fan. Friday night they rose the bar for a very special occasion.
Donating their time and energy to a benefit the Amirah, A Safe House the band tore through an energetic set at the historic Old South Church in the heart of Boston. Those familiar with Caspians "post rock" music knew it would be a special evening. The band teased fans a day before the show with you tube clips of sound checks with no mics, showcasing the unconventional rooms booming sound. Behind the band was blue and red lights. Having seen then band more than just a few times lights are not something they focus on, which is fine, so I knew this would be different even more.
As we sat in our pews (yes..for real) the evening opened with two short acoustic sets of music. Aaron Thomas was first and Marika Whitaker was second. Both did well in front of the quiet and respectful audience.
Before Caspian there was a little more discussion of why we were all there. Please check out the links here and here
Then, the lights were shut down and Caspian arrived on stage. There was no clapping, no fanfare because we all felt the band was going to "tune up" then come back on. Well, this "tune up" would slowly grow and before you knew it, the few folks that had gotten up were scurrying back to their seats.
Over the next 75 minutes the band would take us on an emotional roller coaster. Playing songs that were a little more quiet at the outset and allowing them to fill the room. The punch of drummer Joe Vickers drums could have cut glass. They were tight and had such a "thwap" sound to them the soaring guitars could pull your right back. Phil Jamieson sat at the outset of the show, but would stand and lead the band forward showing, and working with the others to fully engage the music.
The band would not hold back unleashing "ASA" early in the set, but then calming things down for "Sea Lawn" and "Concrescence". The audience was polite, but very reserved. Even when songs ended people were hesitant to clap, but once it felt "okay" it was thunderous.
One of the neat touches to this show was the addition of a cello player. Tucked over behind guitarist Calvin Joss and bassist Chris Friedrich you'd hear the long swooping bow strokes that really filled out the sound. The band made little fan fair of this addition (I am not even sure of his name) but it was a great touch and the sound was so full when he did play it was noticed.
The band worked quickly to cover as many songs as they could due to a strict curfew. Even after the completion of the often set ending "Sycamore" in which all the members slowly converge on Vickers drum kit to beat the ever loving crap out of it, the band still had it in them to give us one more. The venue had this neat light that simulated stars and constellations on the ceiling of the church which was a wonderful touch.
Waving and clapping right back to us the band shouted their thanks and we the audience knew, we had just been "taken to church".
Caspian hits the road for a European run (their third Euro tour of 2010).
You can see all their dates on their myspace page.
The picture of the church came from the bands blog, which you can read/follow right here.