What I didn’t realize about Midlake was that their touring lineup consists of 7! people. We’re talking about some very interesting sound combinations with this many people. At one point there were two flutes playing (and I believe a piccolo in the back?!), as well as a four guitar onslaught…..
While these configurations might sound a bit overblown, they weren’t. Everything SOUNDED quite perfect. All the auxiliary instrumentation provided a great platform to appreciate how good the Midlake bottom end is. I noticed the bass player and drummer really watching each other throughout the night, locking up and cutting loose at times.
A note about the flutes: When I heard the Courage of Others, I think I understood. I know they be into Fairport or whatever, and you hear bits of that, but Midlake is too smart a band to simply twee out with flutes and turn into some Mike Heron elf-fest….
The flute (both on the record, and particularly live) were simply TASTY. I tried to play a flute once, and found it really hard to get a consistent tone. Let’s remember this is tone-ish flute playing backing up the overall key of the song, not Tull-ish, long-socked, flutey prancing….
The set list was primarily Courage of Others material, with about 4 Von Occupanther tracks thrown in for good measure. (The title track of the second album being a favorite of the night for me). And yes, they played Roscoe. You never know how bands will be about their *hitz*, but they seemed to treat the song with the same reverence the audience had for it. We’re talking about maybe 30 people in the room (including labelmates The Low Anthem), but that really didn’t matter. The band seemed energized (especially for a sunday night) and gracious.
(and yes, that’s one of the great two flute moments above…..)
Also, this was the first show I’ve seen at the new Met, and it delivers. Nice sound, good room, this should be great for Providence, and the many local, regional, and national acts that couldn’t fill up Lupos can kick it here………