With a break from the Arcade Fire Reflektor tour, Owen Pallet finally has some free time to tour for himself in support of his soon to be released new album In Conflict (May 27 via Domino Records). Last night brought him to Bowery, the second of a sold out two-night run, with the first night taking place Tuesday night at Glasslands in Brooklyn.
Both shows featured support from Doldrums, whose live lineup currently consists of Airick Woodhead, his brother Daniel, and Maddie Wilde of Moon King. I’ve seen them in various incarnations opening up for other bands, but this was by far the sharpest that I’ve heard them to date. They played some new material, that was well received, draped with some experimental dance vibes and loads of atmosphere.
The last time (and only time) I saw Pallet live was when he opened for Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden, before he joined them on stage as well. This Bowery Ballroom show was a bit more intimate, so I consider it my first proper show from him.
The time came for Mr. Pallet to take the stage and he was accompanied by two band members: a drummer and a mulch-intrumentalist of sorts. He opened the show with Heartland opener “Midnight Directives” and it was clear from this instance that this was going to be a pretty magical showing. The night was mostly dedicated to his new material, along with cuts from Heartland. He also included a few Final Fantasy songs: “That’s When The Audience Died” & “This Is the Dream of Win & Regine.”
Watching Pallet go to work is breathtaking. Using his violin in the most forward-thinking was imaginiable, he is able to create the most magical sounds by expertly using loops to be a one man band of sort. But then again, he has some help from his other two bandmates who took what Pallet started and expanded on it. Pallet stumbled a few times with the starts of songs, but quickly laughed it off and then managed to play the song to perfection.
He came out for not just one, but two encores. The first featured new single “Song For Five & Six” as well as Heartland classic “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt.” He the second he asked the crowd what cover requests they wanted to hear. A crowd-member shouted “Tori Amos’ (not random) and he went into an impromptu cover of “Pretty Good Year” that he assured us he never played before, although it sounded pretty damn spot on. Before playing the last song, he said he once said that wasn’t going to play the next song anymore. But since someone asked him very nicely, he changed his mind. He then played his cover of Joanna Newsome’s “Peach, Plum, Pear.” Two fans were going crazy in front of me when he said that someone asked him nicely, so I assume it was the pair that got him to do it. Well played.
It was a wonderful evening with a double encore and just about everything you could have wanted from Pallet. He delivered and then some on every level.
Find photos of the evening below, along with the setlist, and a recording of Pallet’s impromptu “Pretty Good Year” cover:
“Pretty Good Year” (Tori Amos Cover)
1. Midnight Directives
2. Scandal at the Parkade
3. Keep the Dog Quiet
4. Mount Alpentine
5. Soldier’s Rock
6. Bridle & Bit
7. The Secret Seven
8. Tryst With Mephistopheles
9. Song Song Song (Final Fantasy)
10. That’s When the Audience Died (Final Fantasy)
11. The Passions
12. This Is the Dream of Win & Regine (Final Fantasy)
13. The Great Elsewhere
14. Infernal Fantasy
15. The Riverbed
16. Song for Five & Six
17. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
18. Pretty Good Year (Tori Amos)
19. Peach, Plum, Pear (Joanna Newsome)