Josh Ritter is simultaneously a music writer's sweetest dream and worst nightmare. His highly narrative and hook-laden songs capture audiences with their stories of angels, devils, gods, nightmares, dreams, historical figures, animals and lost loves.
Of Mice and Men's ectomorphic lead singer, Austin Carlile, strode on stage and perched atop one of three platforms a group of roadies had set up moments earlier. He smiled a toothy smile as the rest of the band slinked on stage.
While the album's title, "Everything's Fine, America," may be ironic, the music of Last to Show First to Go is anything but.
Sample-stringer and beat-master Corin Roddick began working on arrangements for the Purity Ring while on tour with Gobble Gobble in 2010. Soon, singer Megan James was tapped to add her warm vocals and introspective lyrics (culled from her once private diary) to form an ethereal and haunting brand of indie-pop underscored with an indelible hip-hop methodology.
Female vocals, samples, blips, clicks, beats, love-lorn milieus, melodies and musical formations familiar, yet different -- as if filtered through the air waves of a '70s and early '80s radio station -- played for the ears and eyes of a sold-out crowd at the Pageant for headliners Tegan and Sara.
First, let us get the obvious out the way: I love Kentucky Knife Fight and I'm not the only one. The St. Louis band receives plenty of press from local media and beyond, so why do we need another Kentucky Knife Fight concert review?
The Sun and the Sea, a five-piece, emo-influenced synth band, opened the night at the Firebird with a short set of tunes which included "Waves" and "Valiant" from 2012's "Vega." "Valiant" came off as drippy, with the droll sentiment, "You are the one, what am I to do?"