Published Aug 22, 2012What a better way to jam econo than to hire your own band as an opening act?
Composed of Sebadoh bass player Jason Loewenstein and drummer Bob D'Amico, Circle of Buzzards did a gazillion times more justice to Loewenstein's vocals than the handful of songs he delivered with the parent act, most of which were heavier numbers from their 1996 album Harmacy.
Barlow then took over on the baritone ukulele for a mellow set punctuated with anecdotes that served as segues between what he described as ''the first songs I wrote'' and ''the most recent songs I wrote.'' His solo set culminated with a stripped-down version of ''Soul and Fire,'' which could have definitely been included in Sebadoh's set but was used as a great transition between both performances -- or one could say Sebadoh's "elastic" performance.
The full band finally hit the stage after setting an ambiance that somewhat dichotomized the long-running indie rock outfit's sound via the two opening acts. Dishing out a few favourites early on, like ''Flame'' and ''Rebound,'' before peppering the rest of the set with recent numbers, such as ''Arbitrary High'' and ''My Drugs'' (both from the new Secret EP), Barlow and Loewenstein kept trading vocal duties while D'Amico's sweat drew Rorschach patterns on his grey T-shirt, which, at one point, almost looked like an inverted pentagram.
Consistently anecdotal, with his cool-dad teeth well sunk into the audience, Barlow rephrased his ''it's good to be back in Canada'' with safe crowd pleaser, ''it's good to be back in Quebec.''
After bidding farewell, the band came back for a second encore -- the first one being the last song of their set, which they referred to as the encore. The lights went on after the trio ripped through ''License to Confuse,'' leaving a distinct feeling of satisfaction in the air.