Published Oct 17, 2008Ever walked into a room with 400 people holding their breath? When I arrived close to the end of Wyrd Visions spaced out set I couldnt help but feel the heavy weight pressing down from the high ceilings on my shoulders. I was immediately drawn in to his epic looping as he chanted with himself.
The pews were uncomfortable but that wasn't the reason we were pushed to the edge of our seats during Julie Doiron and Fred Squire's set of intrinsic folk lullabies. Her adorable falsetto creaked in all the right places, imperfectly perfect. She included career-defining songs like the short and innocent "Drums and Horns and a lesson in moving on, "No More.
When Phil Eleverum took to the stage he carried a presence, probably the most honest light this church had ever seen. Eleverum has built a career on his minimalist offbeat hums and ditties. He was extremely comfortable on the stage as a performer, yet you could see something about this big messy world just didn't sit right with him.
Continuing his string of collaborations, Doiron and Squire were on stage alongside him. They played through Mount Eeries newest offering Lost Wisdom (which they are both featured on) from start to finish. Eleverum finished up on stage by himself with the acoustics haunting his thoughts and hovering over every word he whispered. He sang his open-ended songs to a big empty space above his forehead. The delicate sounds bouncing off the glass-stained windows and organ arms, our faces just part of the scenery in this huge holy room.
By the end, he was no longer at war with his thoughts or anything around him. On Canadian Election Day, in the middle of a crisp October evening, Eleverum hand fed us an escape. An escape from the poll results piling in on TV screens and an escape from our hectic lives.