When I try to think of a good setting for Owen Palletts distinct sound, only one type of structure comes to mind: a castle. He would fit in all too well plucking his strings and drawing the bow across his violin from the bastion of a 15th century British castle. Unfortunately, castles are hard to come by here in the states, and thats where the majority of Owen Palletts April/May touring has gone down.
Last night in Salt Lake we got no castle, but had to settle for SLCs most beloved converted shed/garage, Kilby Court. And it actually ended up being a lovely fit; a next best thing situation, if you will. Sporting one of the best album releases this year, Pallett expressed his excitement for finally being able to see Salt Lake. He said that hed always wanted to, but its a hard place to map on a tour, because you cant very well play, like, Twin Falls followed by his infectious signature giggle. I’m sure he meant no offense to Twin Falls.
The endearing giggles continued on through the night as he progressed through his set. Much to the audiences surprise, Pallett began the night by playing the track that appeared on Beiruts The Flying Club Cup for which he provided vocals, Cliquot. From there on out, it was anybodys guess where he might take us with his vast back catalog. In the end, he included to just about as many Final Fantasy songs as he did songs from his most recent release under his given name, Heartland.
He bedazzled the crowd of just over a hundred with his unequaled musical skill. Interspersed with musical aptitude were his quirky comments. Upon noticing a girl with a cast on her leg in the audience, he began to rattle off a story about a time that he broke his ankle after falling from his friends shoulders at an acquaintances bands concert. He went on to explain that this was a bad time for an ankle break, as he was supposed to go on tour with Arcade Fire three days after the incident. He said that because of his clumsiness he had to play the entire tour from a stool. A few songs into the set, he surprised the audience with an additional band member and only the vague explanation: I used to tour alone, but I brought Thomas along because sometimes I get bored all by myself. The tourmate added percussion, minor guitar work, and some backing vocals, but the show was mainly Palletts.
He slipped seamlessly in and out of Final Fantasy and Owen Pallett songs, each equally impressive, but there were certainly some songs that struck a chord with the audience harder than others. And while fan favorites This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine, Lewis Takes Action, and Lewis Takes Off His Shirt were awarded the most cheers and singalongs, there were tracks that showcased Palletts utter brilliance in multi-tasking. Flare Gun was particularly impressive in its looping techniques and showed off his ability to pluck and draw with ease.
Ive always believed that Pallett is truly one of the unsung musical geniuses of our era and his work deserves more recognition. This was only made more apparent by seeing this man perform live. He is one of the most breathtaking performers I have seen in recent years, and has nothing but greatness ahead of him. I guess one man bands exist after all.
Owen Pallett setlist:
This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine
All That They Know
Thats When The Audience Died
Keep The Dog Quiet
The Great Elsewhere
Lewis Takes Action
E Is For Estranged
He Poos Clouds
Dont Stop (The Party On My Account)
Many Lives -> 49MP
Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
This Lamb Sells Condos