Words // Scott Pingeton
The last time The Wooden Sky played Boston was a mid-week set at an empty Rosebud in Somerville. For most in attendance that night, the music was just a soundtrack to another night of High Lifes and Keno, but for me it was a revelation. You see, about a week earlier I had discovered the band's most recent album If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone, a record that captivated me in a way that no record had in a long time. It is at the same time instantly accessible yet worthy of the countless spins I've given it. Simple, timeless folk, sweeping crescendos and classic rock swagger filtere through an indie rock lens. If there was ever a band tailored perfectly to my tastes, it is The Wooden Sky. The band's performance that night, to an empty bar, cemented a lot for me. For them to play their hearts out the way they did proved beyond a doubt that these guys were the real deal. I think that night I may have tweeted something along the lines of "I've seen the future of rock n' roll..." -- highly original, right? But it was from the heart.
The turnout for the band's sold out Lizard Lounge show this past weekend in Cambridge undoubtedly had a lot more to do with the fact that it was a Friday night at a better venue than my breathless pontificating, but nevertheless it was satisfying to see Boston come out and support these guys.
The show opened with "When Lost At Sea" off the band's debut LP of the same name. From there, the setlist traversed the band's catalogue, drawing heavily from If I Don't Come Home, You Know I'm Gone as well as their recent digital/cassette City of Light EP and a few brand new songs. Each release has seen the band expanding their sound - 2007's When Lost At Sea treads mostly in traditional folk and rock territory, while 2009's If I Don't Come Home, You'll Know I'm Gone shows a bit more sonic experimentation and more nuanced arrangements. The new EP sees the band expanding the pallette further - "Take Me Out" is a doo-wop inspired gem, and the title track showcases a touch of atmospherics that hint promisingly at the future.
I've rarely seen a band so in the pocket, versatile and confident as The Wooden Sky are on stage. They give the impression of hardened road veterans - and after playing together for 8 years, I guess that's true. Still, it's impressive to see them effortlessly change dynamics and styles from hushed country-folk harmonies to guitar-driven, reverb-drenched jams and, what the hell, a spot-on Nirvana cover. This was without question one of the best shows I've seen all year. The reason I started Visible Voice was to share the music that I believe in, and there is no better example than They Wooden Sky. A sold out Lizard Lounge is a start, but they are are destined for much bigger things - it's just a matter of time.
We recorded the entire set in fantastic sound quality - stream/download below. Huge thanks to the Lizard Lounge for accommodating us and for The Wooden Sky for letting us share this with you all. If you dig what you hear, please support The Wooden Sky by 1) telling your friends and 2) buying their music.
The Wooden Sky
Lizard Lounge - Cambridge, MA
November 11, 2011
When Lost At Sea
City of Light
New Song 1
New Song 2 (for Jonathan Richman)
My Old Ghosts
New Song 3
Take Me Out
Something Hiding For Us In The Night
The Late King Henry
Full set download: mp3 zip
Bonus video from VV reader @jeffersash...
City of Light
All Aplogies (Nirvana cover)