Went to a great club show the other day. Can't really call it a concert, as it was in a pretty small venue (the Middle East Upstairs, which is even smaller than Downstairs I think). But it was an excellent time.
We were pretty late to the show. The show was supposed to start at 9pm but due to overindulging at Midwest Grille, a Brazilian "Churrasco" restaurant (you know, one of those where they just keep coming and filling your plate with fresh cuts of meat). The sirloin was particularly good and the Caipirinha was an excellent "dessert". But it did mean we didn't show up at the Middle East until nearly 10.
But lucky for us, the first act was just getting warmed up. Anna Ternheim was brand new to me, but between her guitar playing, clear voice, enchanting accent, and cute-as-a-button looks, I was hooked from the start. Her songs had an engaging personalness and were sung with feeling and verve. And her cover of China Doll blew me away. I talked with her a bit after her set and she was as nice in person as she seemed on stage. Her first real North American tour, it continued to Montreal the next day and on across North America. I later bought her US debut CD, Halfway to Fivepoints, which she graciously signed. Anna explained that it was much more orchestrated than her solo set, but that didn't worry me at all. Also, see V♥M's Anna Ternhiem post.
Anna was followed by Lykke Li, who opened up the sound quite a bit. Adding a drummer and keyboardist, Lykke showed some serious dance chops, with some great beats and plenty of energy. It was funny, as we were talking with someone in the audience before Lykke came out and he wanted to know about El Perro, who he wasn't familiar with, while we were in the opposite boat, having never heard Lykke Li before. Lykke later came out to accompany El Perro Del Mar.
And it was El Perro Del Mar that originally brought us to the Middle East. And she was as introverted on stage as she sounds on disc. Her hair in a short pony tail, she stuck with her hauntingly beautiful lo-fi songs, with a drummer and a keyboard along with her. El Perro's voice was as clear and unique in a club setting as it is on CD and she played a couple of encores, with Lykke Li helping out on one. The set was pretty much split between her first two US releases, while the encores were from The Valley to the Stars, her newest CD. I had held off buying it until the show and I was lucky enough to get El Perro to sign the new one there too. But, like Anna, her stage personae is no fake and she's as distant in person as she was on stage.
But a great night was had by all. Well, save for dropping a full beer on the floor before the start of things! But I otherwise had a grand time, especially enjoying the up close viewing I got for El Perro, as the crowd thinned out a little, possibly due to the latest of the hour, but also I think there were plenty who were there for Lykke Li. So if they come to your neck of the woods, I encourage you to check it out.