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28088Re: [ProgAndOther] San Fermin - My favorite new band from 2013

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  • Noah Lesgold
    Feb 19 8:15 AM
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      My wife and I went to see San Fermin last night with Son Lux at the
      Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and it was a real treat. Roy, thanks again
      for recommending them.

      They have an 8-piece ensemble for touring: keys, guitar, drums, trumpet,
      baritone sax, violin/harmonies, and the two lead singers - down from 23
      musicians and singers on the album. Like the album, there's a lot of
      variety in sonic tone - some songs are spare, while others have a wall
      of sound and noise. I really appreciate a good horn section, and the
      trumpeter and sax player were both excellent, with parts that were well
      integrated into the substance and texture of the songs. The female
      vocalists from the album, who front the indie band Lucius (I'm not
      familiar with them but might look into their stuff), are not part of the
      touring band - instead Rae Cassidy takes the female lead and does really
      well with it, running hotter with the emotional tone of the songs than
      the comparatively cool approach on the recorded version. Violinist
      Rebekah Durham provides harmonies on many of the parts (sometimes the
      trumpet plays the harmony melody along with the vocals, also), though I
      was kind of sad to not have the full harmonies on "Crueler Kind", which
      was otherwise excellent.

      In terms of setlist, they did, I think, all the songs from the album
      (omitting most of the instrumentals), largely in order. They did insert
      two new tracks that are being worked up for their sophomore release, and
      "The Count" was pulled out of its album position and used for the final
      climactic song. No encore, despite a pretty frenzied ovation from the
      sellout crowd.

      Opener Son Lux was a pretty good time as well; I hadn't gotten familiar
      with their material, and I did run a little hot and cold with their set.
      The music is all by Ryan Lott, who sings and plays keyboards and
      manipulates beats; there were also a drummer and a guitarist; while the
      drummer was quite good, rarely have I seen someone make playing the
      drums seem so much like an awful, crippling, incurable disease. I was
      kind of on the fence about picking up his latest CD, "Lanterns" but the
      closing song, which I think was the single "Lost It To Trying" was
      compelling enough that I went for it; hopefully I'll give that a listen

      Anyway, I can definitely recommend San Fermin to anyone who is going to
      be visited by them sometime soon. It was a real treat.

      Noah Lesgold

      "Karl Marx had some interesting ideas. Listen to this:
      'Religion is the opiate of the masses.'"
      "Isn't opium the opiate of the masses?"
      "Hey... you're right. Jeez, it's a wonder that the Soviet Union didn't
      collapse sooner." --Goats (www.goats.com)
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