I know some of you are thinking, “Seriously, another Source Victoria post”? First, F you. Second, did you really think after all the posts leading up to the show that I wouldn’t write a review of the show?
Yep, I have been psyched about this show since word got out that the album was finally done and the release party date was set. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of the disc early so I could post a review of Slow Luck prior to the show. I had the opportunity to interview singer/guitarist/songwriter Brendan Murphy a week and a half before the show to gain some more insight to the making of Slow Luck and the overriding theme of the album. But I got to a point when I just wanted the show to arrive so everyone else would have the opportunity to get the disc for themselves and watch the band perform songs from the album live. Needless to say the Crescent Ballroom crowd was not disappointed!
Jamal Ruhe, the gentleman who did the mastering on Slow Luck flew out for the show and was a late addition to the line-up. I am so glad Brendan added him to the bill because Jamal Ruhe delivered a splendid set to commence the evening! This guy can flat-out play the acoustic guitar and has an outstanding voice. Plus, this artist has some serious cajones! If you plan on performing a cover of “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” from The Smiths you better be able to deliver the goods. It was a beautiful rendition, just one snippet of an outstanding set. I hope you got to the venue in time to see him perform.
No Jeff Bufano and Chris Corak from Reubens Accomplice? Son of a …
Therefore, Colorstore was up next. Great band, so unique and this band boasts some serious musicianship. Their most telling characteristic may be the fact I still have not figured out a genre to use as a label for these guys. All you need to know is Colorstore is one of those bands that you really have to pay attention to while they perform because there is so much going on at once. Please go see this band when you get a chance and focus in on what they are doing, it is all too rare to see a band that is both utterly professional and eclectic at the same time.
Next up was Source Victoria. I asked Brendan during the interview if the band planned on doing anything special for the show, such as play the entirety of Slow Luck. He told me, “It’s not going to be fireworks or anything.” Well, the band led off with “All That You Taught Me”, the beautiful first track from the album. Perfect beginning to the show since this song provides a great vehicle for Murphy’s trademark gravelly yet delicate vocal delivery and showcases the band’s ability to deliver a mellow indie pop tune well.
My favorite track from Slow Luck was played next, “Nobody Knows But Me”. Great transition as this tune is the most “rocking” on the album. Justin Entsminger’s bass boomed through the Crescent Ballroom sound system and Scott Hessel was dynamite as always on the drums, creating that outstanding Source Victoria rhythm section. Aaron Wendt delivered that killer guitar solo in the middle of the song with potent precision.
“Black Luck, Black Label” was next. Did Murphy lie to me? The album was played in order to this point! In fact, “Taking Me On” and “Arrogance, Your Best Defense” followed, so the first five songs played followed the order of the opening of the album. That trend ended with the sixth song. Therefore, at this point I lost track in regards to an official playlist.
Eleven of the twelve songs from Slow Luck were played with the only omission being the stunning “Acetylene Torch Song”. The band had obviously put in a ton of practice time for this show because they were extraordinarily tight on this evening. Murphy at one point during the set pulled out an acoustic guitar, stating that was the first time he had played an acoustic during one of the band’s shows. I thought it worked well, adding that more delicate type of sound to the band’s live delivery for the evening. This also gave guitarist Rick Heins a chance to really shine on tracks such as “I Know You Well”. Murphy played the instrument for a few songs.
Source Victoria even pulled out three gems from The Fast Escape for the show, “Miss Spiritual Tramp of 1948”, “Burn the Pianos” and the always crowd-pleasing and still possibly my favorite song from that album, “Opportunistic”. The timing of these songs blended well with the Slow Luck focus of the evening.
The entire set was great; personal favorites for this evening included “Black Luck, Black Label” and the last two songs of the set, coincidentally the final two tracks of the album, “Maybe You’re Right” and what very well may be the centerpiece of Slow Luck, “Once I’m Dead”. The build-up to the guitar crescendo about 80% into the song on “Maybe You’re Right” was awe-inspiring and I love the rock version of “Once I’m Dead”.
Brendan told me during the interview that “the whole point of that show for me is simply to enjoy the night.” I think anyone at the Crescent on this evening could comfortably say Murphy and the rest of Source Victoria genuinely appeared to be happy and enjoying themselves onstage. I’m glad they did because I can tell you from my perspective and from watching others around me the whole crowd was having a great time. This was the biggest audience I have seen at a Source Victoria show which was very cool to see.
Congratulations to the band for delivering a stellar show! I am not sure if any record stores in town are selling Slow Luck, so if you did not have a chance to go to the release party check out the Source Victoria Facebook page, send them a message and I am sure you can get your hands on a disc that way. For those of you that only download music now (shame on you!) Slow Luck is also on iTunes.
I took three videos of the band; some if not all will be posted on the SilverPlatter.info YouTube channel. Once they are live I will update this post so you can see a video or two or three of the band from this evening.