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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Live review: Field Mouse

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Field Mouse, Lost In a World of Color, Avian Law, Les Wright
The Milestone
Aug. 8, 2011

The Deal: The thing I love about Charlotte is the sheer diversity of its music. We may not have the largest scene but we have quality over quantity and with that, diversity. Although there were some awesome shows going on this week, it had been quite some time since I had the opportunity to witness some good indie and folk music. Although I tend to gravitate more towards the heavier stuff, I've gotta admit, there is a huge part my heart dedicated to the experimental, feel-good sound of the more tranquil, clean melodies of this genre. I was compelled to witness the sounds of Charlotte's own Les Wright, Avian Law, Lost in a World of Color accompanied by Field Mouse who were on tour from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Good: Les Wright began the night for us with a solo acoustic set that allured everyone's focus. With his pants rolled and his shoes exposed, he sat with his guitar, projecting his powerful, deep, warm and humble voice while tapping his foot and strumming along. Belting emotion over chords, he showed us his passionate, yet quirky soul with his songs ranging from break-up jams to internal frustrations, some with comic relief to the realistic lyrical content. By the end of his set, people were stomping along and smiling at the words flying towards us, letting them brighten our lives.

With an enchanting voice and matching banjo melodies, Avian Law gravitated us all to the stage where she brought us all to a trace with her sheer musical ability. Modest of her talent, she hits all her notes gracefully and naturally with scales that touched my heart. While she was amazing by herself, playing a few originals and a couple covers, including Tom Wait's “Chocolate Jesus” and “Green Grass,” towards the end of her set she brought two friends on stage, band mates from Lost in a World of Color (eventually the whole band). The combination of xylophone and drums, then keys made a nice contribution to the already solid melodies she had projected on her own.

Taking a short break from the stage, the members of Lost in a World of Color reformed and took their places to bring us to their world of experimental indie-folk. In masks and matching, fluorescent, paint-stained, white clothing the, band magnetized us all and brought us towards them. “We are Lost in a World of Color and we hope you are too,” their front man stated at the beginning of their set. Although we weren't quite at that point, we certainly reached that plane momentarily. In intense infatuation, their array of instruments radiated their abilities and innovative tunes. Acoustic guitar, keyboard, viola, a traditional drum set, drums, musical saw, lap harp and banjo created the well-rounded indie feel brought to our ears. Band members switched places, showcasing their versatility and connection with each other, as they were smiling and feeding off of one another as the leaders of the porthole to the world of color should.

Last to the stage was Field Mouse, hailing from Brooklyn with their fresh sounds from the North. Their music was solid and therapeutic with meaningful lyrics sung by a sweet, high voice that led us away to a tranquil land of blissful, metaphorical grassy fields. Clean guitars, deep bass and cymbal and snare driven drums dominated the stage, creating a sound similar to '90s female-fronted rock and contemporary indie. Their vocalist/guitarist, Rachel jumped around on stage in her Keds, feeling the jams she was sharing with us, inspiring the rest of the floor to submerge themselves in what they were hearing. Sweating from head to toe, they jokingly complained about the heat of the south, leading to a string of southern-based jokes which spawned quick retorts from us Southerners about our hatred of the north. It was nice to be able to talk shit back in forth, creating unity, if only for the moment they were here. When the band finished up their set, the audience begged for more, even hollering for covers so we could hear them play something else. Drenched in sweat, they told us they couldn't, as they had played all the songs they had practiced and didn't know the chords to Cranberries' “Zombie,” which everyone continually (and possibly drunkenly) requested. Regardless, people wanted to hear more, as it seems they did fairly well with merchandise because they were out of their EPs when I tried to get one.

The Bad: The turnout certainly could've been better but considering it was a Sunday night, I'm just glad there was a turnout in general. But in case you didn't know, typically shows end by midnight on Sundays so if you're afraid of being out all night, never fear, come see the music.

The Verdict: Charlotte's range of musical genre and quality is something noteworthy for sure. I enjoy the fact that I can catch local bands with awesome abilities with different styles almost every night of the week, usually accompanied by an equally fantastic touring band. I am glad I got to experience some of the best indie-folk in Charlotte that I had not become acquainted with and a touring band that I will most definitely see again their next round down to the muggy south. In the meantime, I recommend the local sounds of the opening bands, Les Wright, Avian Law and Lost in a World of Color whenever you can because they are without fail, original and exceptional.

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