I arrived just as the first of two co-openers took to the stage. Luckily I managed to score a spot with a pretty good view; the trade off being an AC vent pumping arctic air into my eyeballs. It definitely kept me on high alert for the whole show! Despite the frosty reception, it was nice to be back in Baby’s All Right. It’s a venue with good sound and good crowds. And perfect for the series of intimate sets that I was treated to on Saturday Evening.
Claire Glass kicked us off with some very pretty folk music. Just her, her guitar and her soul, bared for all. This was followed by Adobo, who kicked the energy level up with their looped songs, and distinctively toned electric guitar. I’m a sucker for watching someone build a complex and layered song gradually from nothing using their pedals. And they did it brilliantly.
Both were very meditative in their own ways and they didn’t leave the stage for long as they joined Black Belt Eagle Scout as the bassist and guitarist of her four-piece band.
They started with the sensational ‘My Blood Runs Through This Land’. On reflection it was probably the high point of a very good gig. It’s a raucous and soaring epic. This is also the opener on the new BBES album The Land, The Water, The Sky. It’s an album that is bolder and noisier than their debut, and pretty much the entire show was dedicated to it.
BBES music follows a type. There’s often an expansive build and layered vocals. This gives way to a chance to rock out. Before circling back to emotional core of the song. This alt-rock template isn’t anything that new, but it’s one I’m a sucker for. Add in BBES’s charisma and its a winner.
It was a treat to sit in the hazy atmosphere BBES creates. Accompanying the songs she told stories about taking their parents on tour and her connection to her tribal homelands. Her narrative gave everything a genuine and fresh edge.
Oh, and it was so much louder and beefier. I have really enjoyed the album the recording, but live the songs were even weightier, and the extended breakdowns as the whole band headbanger with hair flying everywhere was great. Songs like ‘Blue’ and ‘Don’t Give Up’ really benefited from that live energy.
The show wrapped with a few songs from their previous songs including their breakout hit, ‘Soft Stud’. This was another highlight as it was my first time seeing them, so my first chance to see this live.
I left feeling bathed in fuzz and good vibes. The show was the perfect end to what was a beautifully summer-like day in the city.
Words by Matt Paul