The crowd wasn’t a huge one for Owen Pallett but he does have a following. When openers Snowblink mentioned his name the small crowd whooped it up. They were ready for the violinist/vocalist to do his thing. After the opening set, Pallett walked out and the audience were in full applause mode.
He comes out picks up his violin and cracks a joke. But when he starts with “That’s When the Audience Died,” (above) the crowd ate it up. He performed a healthy set of songs from his newest album, Heartland, and his work he did as Final Fantasy.
The magic about his show is the looping effects.He executes his music more than plays it. You almost can’t tell when the playing stops and the recorded version begins. He’s seamless with the onstage composition and somehow it flows with no hicccups. Pallett isn’t the most dynamic performer but his conviction to his own music makes him worth watching. Plus, it’s hard to jam out with a violin than with, say a guitar.
His voice was sublime though. He has that creamy smoothness of k.d. Lang that filled the room more so than his music. Even when his songs entered into weirder, avante-garde territory, his vocals always shined above. But it was a proper balance against the drum machines, violins and keyboards.
The crowd was a younger, hipsterish college set which doesn’t surprise. Plus, there wasn’t a clear queer quotient. The crowd was mixed nicely between men and women and many couples were caught up with the show. Pallett clearly evokes something. I counted four couples in dreamy embraces swaying to his music. He definitely put some love in the air.
Although he ended with “Lewis Takes His Shirt Off,” the audience brought him back for an encore in which he gave us one more song and a cover of, would you believe, Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy.” And I’d dare say, it was better than the original. Darn the battery running out on my vid cam to miss out capturing that performance.
Openers Snowblink were a male and female Canadian duo. I caught about four songs, one of which was a nice cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” They were more on the ethereal, slower side but somehow the bigness of the room was right for their tone. My friend made a good point that the singer’s echo would not do well in smaller venues. He was probably right. While they were even less dynamic than Pallett, the sleepy tunes were a worthwhile listen.