Author Topic: Live Stars of the Lid  (Read 5033 times)

Ben Fleury-Steiner

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Live Stars of the Lid
« on: June 12, 2008, 06:23:36 AM »
Anyone else catch them live on this tour?  I saw them in Philly at the Gatherings and have to say a huge disappointment...The string section was so loud you could barely hear Adam and Brian...The whole thing for me was like second rate chamber music, major bummer, as SOTL is one of my all time faves...


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Re: Live Stars of the Lid
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008, 01:22:27 PM »

I didn’t see them on this tour, but on a previous UK expedition where they played here in Bristol (Nov ‘07). I would characterise the sound as somewhat soupy and stringy. the set consisted of two tracks from Tired Sounds... and two from And Their Refinement..., proving to be more torpid than dreamy, not to mention over-polite. We might almost have been in some stuffy tea rooms, discussing the fin de siecle (OK, so we were in a church... and it was maybe some post-Pärt Holy Minimalism they were seeking to channel). In the end, I went back to the albums and concluded that I find their earlier work more intriguing. Live, as Ben oberved, they seem to have decided to foreground that neo-classical Euro-soundtrack influenced element (already prominent on the last album), and underlined and bolded it with added violins/viola, and I missed some of those grainier, texturally alien bits that made albums like The Ballasted Orchestra so engaging.

Mark Mushet

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Re: Live Stars of the Lid
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2008, 10:57:08 AM »
I saw them in Seattle at the Triple Door, a swank dinner club setting. I enjoyed the show but it was certainly too loud where we were sitting. I know what Alan and Ben are getting at and agree to a point. I just don't expect much from concerts by many of the musicians we all like and refer to here. It's not really the optimum setting.

Even the Budd & Guthrie concert last year was nice but not spectacular. I went with no expectations to either show and was not disappointed. Listening to Budd & Guthrie while some 20-something would-be hipster is checking his phone's camera images beside me in a less-than-comfy pew in a converted church is not exactly ideal. At SOTL it was, well, dinner time. Servers were discrete and the food is great but again, is this a setting for ambient concert music?

Regarding SOTL, I often hear the best string quartets in the world (Emerson, Takacs etc.), unamplified, playing Shostakovich etc. so when a string trio takes the stage to play some very basic music, amplified, one has to remember that it is not in any way aspiring to the same heights and to enjoy it for what it is. I still like SOTL and the concert CD is well worth picking up.

I really liked the visuals they had going behind the trio.