Michael Allen Spear
Lord Huron at the Loft- May 11, 2011
Nada Alic, who mainly covers the indie music scene and is the force behind the blog Friends With Both Arms, is the newest voice to join SoundDiego. -- Ed.
Last night, Los Angeles’ Lord Huron played their citrus-folk tunes alongside San Diego’s equally luminous Chairs Missing at the Loft, rounding out Lord Huron's recent U.S. tour with the Rural Alberta Advantage.
Lord Huron took the stage to play their epic ballads off their EP Mighty, beginning with soothing tropical sounds to set the mood for their Caribbean-themed performance. Frontman Ben Schneider’s echoing vocals harmonized over a haze of distorted instrumentation of lush guitars, layered percussion and shimmering maracas. With only a handful of songs that were born out of Ben’s solo project, their set carried an impressive professionalism, borrowing from Fleet Foxes' hymnal repetition while infusing Animal Collective-style samples.
Rootsy Americana emerged in songs like “Son of a Gun” and, notably, “The Problem With Your Daughter,” during which -- in a traditional folk narrative -- a mild-mannered Schneider pleads for the release of his woman from her father. When he announced that they would play a new song, a gang of hippie girls emerged from the back row to dance furiously in a line, rejoicing in a kind of rain dance.
To end the evening, the crowd cheered for an encore from the headliners, to which Schneider warned, “That means you’re getting a cover,” perhaps referring to the fact this young band had no more new songs to perform -- they played their haunting rendition of Springsteen’s “Nebraska,” to vibrant applause.
Lord Huron's energized performance followed openers Chairs Missing (right), a new psychedelic folk project led by Tape Deck Mountain drummer Paul Remund and his band of vintage-clad members, which includes guitarist Riain Haggar, bassist Brandon Cardwell and drummer Dave Meade. Their penchant for reverb-heavy pop songs will refrain you from making any comparisons to the '70s Brit-punk band the Wire; Chairs Missing pays homage to modern revivalists like Jay Reatard or Kurt Vile.
Chairs Missing played songs off their EP When, Now to a crowd of scattered folks who stood in awe of Haggar, whose flamboyant dance moves and hip swaying provided much of the onstage entertainment during the band's set.
Nada Alic runs the San Diego-based music blog Friends With Both Arms and works in artist relations for the nonprofit organization Invisible Children. Follow her updates onTwitter or contact her directly.