Last Saturday (2/25/12), I was lucky enough to score tickets to see Blind Pilot at the Crowbar in Ybor City. The club is small and doesn't have the best sound, but I ended up just a few people back from the center of the stage, which was awesome.
I tend to exaggerate for effect, but I seriously loved Blind Pilot from my first listen (Don't believe me, see: "Courage laced with alcohol", Awesomeness Redux, and
Songs that I like to pretend were written for me...). There is something magical, sweet, beautiful, and philosophical about their music. After seeing them live, I realize that all of those things are the musical embodiment of song writer Israel Nebeker. The songs are so easily linked with the shy, subtle, modest yet emotional way that he carries himself. He is an old soul with the ability to capture the beauty and emotion in small seconds and turn them into amazing music. Even more, it is music that both breaks your heart and then immediately opens you up to the world.
It would be enough to see them just for him, but the entire band is just amazing. The first time that I saw Amos Lee perform (Amos Lee, Poppin' Epiphanies, and the Peace in Truth), I was intrigued at how he was always singing with his eyes closed. True to the joke in About a Boy, when you close your eyes while performing, a rush of unfiltered emotion just seems to pour out . What I noticed most about Blind Pilot was that all members of the band seemed so cool and chill, but when it came to the music, they all played with the kind of emotion that demands closed eyes. I really dig that.
Every song was pretty great, but my favorites were New York and We Are The Tide. I have been obsessed with listening to New York lately, so between the use of the harmonium (errr, maybe? I don't know what that thing is called) and the general emotion of the song, it was beautiful live. And the drums and use of instruments in We Are The Tide is just fun and so full of life.
They have such a beautiful sound, so my only complaint is that the venue just wasn’t the best place for that. I would love to see them someplace like the Capitol Theater (there has got to be a reason that Brandi Carlile keeps returning there) or Ruth Eckerd Hall where the venue would just amplify and build their sound. Either way, I’m ready to see them any time they come to town.
As a side note, I have to say that I am totally in love with their tour posters and their vinyl artwork. I love bands that put the time and effort into making both the music and the packaging really awesome (a la Pearl
Jam and The Avett Brothers - Make It Pretty Inside and Out, The Music Experience). Oh, for the love of vinyl and tour posters.
We Are The Tide