11 August 2011

Live: The Barr Brothers (100Band Review #70)

posted by: Jessica 100Bands | Live Reviews | Reviews

What’s Left: 25 days, 30 bands

Who: The Barr Brothers

When/Where: April 12th, T.T.’s, Cambridge, MA

Expectations: I was supposed to see Wye Oak this night, but there was a problem with tickets. I went to the concert venue next door instead, with no idea of what or even who to expect.

Concert: After watching the talented Barr Brothers , I can say with the utmost certainty that this Montreal based band is one you should know about. They were responsible for the bulk of the crowd that showed despite Torquil Campbell (of Stars) and his new side project band Memphis headlining. The Barr Brothers started off the evening playing this song in the most attention grabbing way.  Brad Barr threaded a string around his guitar string so that when he pulled on it, it appeared as though he was flossing his guitar. This created an effect that elongated the notes and probably lots of other stuff that I don’t know about. He also took a tape player and played a little bit of a talking track and then would rewind it and looped the resulting noise. There was a lot going on and it entranced the crowd right away. (For better understanding watch this live video of the song here.)


Other highlights included a call and answer section between the guitar and harp player, which isn’t exactly something you see every day. When they played “Sarah Through the Walls” the audience was regaled with the story behind the song. It goes something like this: Sarah Page is the harp player for the band and lived next to The Barr Brothers in Montreal. For months Brad heard her practicing through the walls and found one song especially beautiful. He got up the courage to knock on her door and play his version of the song on his guitar. This was met with a look of confusion and Sarah said she’d never heard the song before. A few awkward laughs later and they became friends and later band mates and this gorgeous song came out of it. It’s a sweet story and one of the few I’ve remembered from the concerts I’ve seen. It’s stuck with me all these months just as their music has.


Concert Afterglow: Absolutely one of the most endearing concerts I’ve seen. I want to be their friends.


Recommendation: This is a delayed review, so I can say that four months later this concert has made a memorable impression, you need to see them. They are going on tour in support of their debut album being re-released by Secret City Records but mainly in eastern Canada. If you can’t see them you should at least attach yourself to the gorgeous “Beggar in the Morning”.


Song: [MP3] The Barr Brothers – Beggar in the Morning



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