Concert Reviews
The hottest gigs straight from the venue to your couch

Owen Pallett creates a castle at SLC’s Kilby Court (5/13)

on May 15, 2010, 11:05am

When I try to think of a good setting for Owen Pallett’s 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 that’s where the majority of Owen Pallett’s April/May touring has gone down.

Last night in Salt Lake we got no castle, but had to settle for SLC’s 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 he’d “always wanted to, but it’s a hard place to map on a tour, because you can’t 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 audience’s surprise, Pallett began the night by playing the track that appeared on Beirut’s The Flying Club Cup for which he provided vocals, “Cliquot”. From there on out, it was anybody’s 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 friend’s shoulders at an acquaintance’s band’s 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 Pallett’s.

owen1 Owen Pallett creates a castle at SLCs Kilby Court (5/13)

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 Pallett’s 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.

I’ve 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:
Cliquot
This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine
All That They Know
That’s When The Audience Died
Midnight Directives
Keep The Dog Quiet
The Great Elsewhere
Lewis Takes Action
E Is For Estranged
He Poos Clouds
Don’t Stop (The Party On My Account)
Flare Gun
Many Lives -> 49MP
Lewis Takes Off His Shirt

Encore:
This Lamb Sells Condos
Joy

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