Caribou Charges Forward
September 17th, 2010 — Satisfaction. Our parents saw the great rock gods (in my house: The Rolling Stones) and will have that experience forever. Here’s our generation’s: Caribou. On Friday, September 17, the Phoenix Concert Theatre hosted the unique sounds of Caribou, which if you’re not listening to, stop reading this and go download their album Swim.
Before the headliners took the stage, band The Russian Futurists opened with 80′s-inspired power ballads with a rock edge. Frontman Matthew Adam Hart wooed the audience with new and old songs, including “Precious Metals” and “100 Shopping Days Until Christmas.” Hart shouted out many thanks and dedication to Caribou, telling the crowd, “[Caribou] is going to kick your ass.”
Clad in white shirts and khaki pants, there was an aura that surrounded Caribou members Daniel Snaith, Ryan Smith, Brad Weber, and John Schmersal. When you think about seeing a band live, expect the usual instruments: drums, bass, occasionally a keyboard. But Caribou incorporates laptops for electronic backtracks and different percussion equipment for their trance/eclectic sound.
The band played a mix of older songs from album Andorra, but I think that their newer pieces, “Bowls,” “Odessa,” and “Jamelia” were even better. The song “Sun” was the best played and well-received by the audience as the popular melody was remixed and flowed into the next song. The incorporation of lights, a slideshow backdrop (which blended into the band’s ensembles) and Snaith’s dedication into his music literally made the venue shake with energy. I’m a huge Caribou fan, and spent the whole night dancing along with new friends and relishing the moment.
Special guest Jeremy Greenspan from The Junior Boys joined Caribou for a song, as well as a four piece group of a flute, trombone, trumpet and bassoon players. The additions complimented Caribou, which was refreshing after seeing guests either not measure up or overpower the headliners in other shows.
The mix of electronic sounds with classical instruments made the music surround your body leave lingering melodies running through your head long after. Dare I say this, but Caribou could really give Radiohead some steep competition.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GENEVIEVE LUI