So I went to a concert this past weekend with April from the Rare Book Collection at UNC. We got to see Midtown Dickens, Paleface, and Holy Ghost Tent Revival. The first thing about the concert that sticks out in my mind is just the sheer amount of instruments used in this concert. I was going to twitter about it, but it takes way more than the 140 characters that twitter allows. Over the course of the concert, these are the instruments that were played: Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, upright bass, electric bass, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, harmonica, trumpet, trombone, baritone, drumset, accordion, bowed saw, spoons, keyboard. There might have been more, but thats all that I can think of right now.
All three bands played at a high intensity, raucous sort of level that just didn’t let up the entire night. The banjo player and the bass player for Holy Ghost Tent Revival were bleeding on their instruments by the end of their set. That’s one thing that’s really difficult to capture on a recording, that raucous atmosphere. I downloaded the Midtown Dickens’ album (and probably will download the Holy Ghost Tent Revival album soon), and while the songs are all still great, they don’t have that reckless abandon that they had in the concert. The reckless abandon is definitely better for a concert, but I don’t know how well it would translate to an album, especially as one as clean as a regular studio album.
I liked Midtown Dickens and Holy Ghost Tent Revival the best; Paleface was good, but he does some vibrato-y stuff with his voice that I just didn’t really like that much. Maybe that comes out of his roots in the anti-folk scene; the few people I’ve heard from that scene, like Regina Spektor, do some strange vocalizations.