With the flick of a wrist, a sudden flame and the lighting of incense, Torres stalked the stage, baptizing the band and the audience in smoke, before grabbing her guitar, as the rest of her band took the stage at The EARL to a room full of fans and those newly converted by her excellent new record, Sprinter.
Live, the dramatic intensity of the songs take a big leap forward from the recorded versions as they held the crowd in rapt attention, swaying and lurching, song after song. The band, drums, 2 guitars, and keyboards, fill up the sonic pallet in a huge way, I didn’t even notice the lack of a bass player until halfway through the set. Torres’ guitar chops, while layered and strumming most of the time, occasionally reminded me of Annie Clark from St. Vincent’s affected frantic melodies.
While they focused almost exclusively on songs from the new record, like the enchanting opening cut, “Son, You’re Are No Island,” ”New Skin” and “A Proper Polish Welcome,” she also worked in “November Baby” as the set closer from her self-titled release.
Madeline, a singer songwriter from Athens, GA opened the show with a fantastic set of quirky original tunes and a gorgeous voice. At times she reminded me of Dana Falconberry’s lovely frail voice while at other times she held the crowd in the palm of her hand with her engaging lyrics and knowing smile.
Atlanta’s own, The Preakness played second and brought a heaping dose of 90’s tinged rock to the stage that called to mind equal parts, Elliott Smith and Pavement. Growling guitars, smart lyrics and some tasty guy/girl vocals with lots of subtle hooks.
Review and Photos By: John McNicholas