Plants and Animals @ Littlefield - April 17, 2012
Photos/Review: Trista Hou (Bingshu Hou)
What you might expect from the Canadian music scene should not be limited to catchy pop bands like noise-rock duo Death From Above 1979, or Bowie-inspired shoegaze band Destroyer. There is room for an acoustic-heavy folk and classic rock-inspired trio such as Plants and Animals as well.
The band kicked off their North American tour recently to promote their newly released LP, The End of That, and their show at Littlefield was their first night in NYC. The venue was no more than 1/5 full when the two warm-up bands, Indians and This Is the Kit, were performing, but as soon as P & A stepped onto the stage, people became interested and engaged.
Starting off with the classic rock riffs of “Good Friend”, one of the top tracks from their 2009 album Parc Avenue which was rated 8 out 10 by Pitchfork, immediately brought the audience back to an age when the Walker Brothers were still a member of British Invasion. Singing repeatedly “I wanna dance," frontman Warren Spicer swept the guitar with eyes closed, and offered the audience a perfect excuse to swing spontaneously.
Following up was “Crisis!”, the first song they played from the latest album. With highly discernible guitar loops as a prelude, the song helped to enter a small climax of the show. Warren controlled his voice at the very edge of its limit each time he burst out the line “somewhere between a crisis and a pretty good time," but you didn't have to worry about his failure in trying to do so. As the song came to an end, the instrumental effects climbed up to a peak which created a wall of noise, leading you to be drowned in its mighty strength.
And then Warren’s voice quickly intruded again as the melody of “Song for Love” began to fill the venue. He uttered his words clearly, and the singing somehow just reminded me of Damon Albarn. They covered songs from all three of their albums and put them in an order that wasn't abrupt in the transition of each track to the next. Apart from being the vocalist and guitarist, Warren also sang to the accompaniment of piano which he played by himself. Besides that, bassist Nicolas Basque picked up some sort of folk instrument which sounds like Koto to add variety into the sound effect.
The band played 11 songs in total, which lasted about an hour and a half. Overall, Plants and Animals' live show comes off as a rather intimate party among acquaintances rather than a star performing with high ticket prices.
Plants and Animals recently expanded their tour which will include a stop back in NYC at Webster Hall on July 30 with Bombay Bicycle Club. Check out some more photos of Plants and Animals' Littlefield show, their amazing video for "The End of That," and all future tour dates below...
Plants and Animals 2012 Tour DatesFri. Apr. 20 - London, ON @ APK Live
Sat. Apr. 21 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
Thu. May 10 - Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
Fri. May 11 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas
Sat. May 12 - Madison, WI @ The Frequency
Tue. May 15 - Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
Wed. May 16 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Fri. May 18 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill
Sat. May 19 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
Mon. May 21 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Wed. May 23 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
Fri. May 25 - Austin, TX @ Lambert's
Sat. May 26 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald's
Sun. May 27 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
Tue. May 29 - Nashville, TN @ The End
Wed. May 30 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
Sat. June 16 - Montreal, QC @ Montreal Folk Festival
Sat. June 30 - Gagetown, NB @ Queens County Fair Grounds
Tue. July 24 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall*
Wed. July 25 - Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick*
Fri. July 27 - Burlington, VT @ Signal Kitchen
Sat. July 28 - Boston, MA @ Royale*
Mon. July 30 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall*
Tue. July 31 - Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live*
Wed. Aug. 1 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club*
Fri. Aug. 3 - Sat. Aug. 5 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
* w/ Bombay Bicycle Club