Arc Iris At The Skinny Pancake May 29, 2015
Words by Tim Lewis.
I just got back from seeing music at The Skinny Pancake. I’d been meaning to catch the band for a couple of weeks, but the timing was just not there. Tonight, I got out at 7 and the show was set to start at 8. How easy was that? I got home a bit after 7, grabbed a bite to eat and headed out about quarter of 8. I was running late, and got there around 5 after but it was not yet showtime. I settled in and let the vibrations of the stage absorb me. One keyboard faced the crowd and the other two faced stage left and right. A long vine big leaf plant wrapped itself around the keys. There was a drum set in the back left and a chair in the back right. The front right had an open space and a couple of guitars.
Soon enough Arc Iris took the stage and let loose their staggeringly complex and beautiful music. The keyboard player played one set of keys with each had for most of the show, and definitely had a bit of a Wakeman flair, without the cape. The drummer played super tight riffs that breathed like music can, as opposed to electronic beats, which are locked in. Whenever the band went for it, he was right there to add the fire. The cello player bowed her way through the show, casting light and shadow on the songs, and her vocal harmonies were just gorgeous. The singer alternated acoustic and electric guitar some piano, and had a voice that reminded me of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, and or jane siberry, though sounded like neither. Some of the music was off-kilter dance songs. Many of the songs sounded like Ziggy era Bowie playing with a trio on the streets of Paris while going for a mad jazzman sound. Some of the songs had hints of Yes, King Crimson, and Renaissance, but everything sounded original. The song where the singer stood on an amp and unfurled the golden angel wings sounded like it could have been on Fragile, or maybe it was the song after, the show was a beautiful blur. It was a pretty intense show and it was hard to grasp it all. The audience started small but the show kept feeling like it was coming more and more alive as more and more people crowded the room. It was intense, wonderful and breathtaking. When they said goodnight, there was no way the audience would let them go. They came back for a really cool song and said something about there being a fun video for it.
i hung out for a bit after the show, bought a CD, chatted about gardening with Jocie, then took the long walk home. What a great night of music.
This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog, https://timstriangletribune.wordpress.com.