I have never been one to fawn over celebrity but I have intrigued when I saw Eliot Sumner on the bill at the Turf Club for yesterday. Call it more of curiosity to see Sting’s genes would carry his musical skills. But then 3 bands on a Sunday night make for a good evening any which way.
Starting the evening was Murder Shoes a Minneapolis band made up of Tess Weinberg, Christopher White, Derek Van Gieson, Elliot Manthey, and Tim Heinlein. Founded in 2013 the band has been releasing a steady string of EP and most of the songs they played had just been recorded over the last couple of days. The band has a very cool sound mixing bright guitars (that at times sound almost like beach rock) with a driving bass.
Set List: Charlotte / Greater Ex / Missile S. / Burning / Hands / Mirror / Far Away / How does it Feel / Maybe U / Cities / Joan J / Tape Organ
Philadelphia’s Cheerleader was up next. On the 15th day of a 25 stop tour with Sumner the band was tight and their set flowed smoothly. The Turf Clubs stage lights were augmented by a police car right outside the window for several sets – the house lights don’t usually change during a set so this was a nice change of pace. Cheerleader’s sound is more alt-pop. Promoting their debut album “The Sunshine of Your Youth” they got the crowd engaged quickly and closer to the stage. I did not include a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for Josh Pannepacker in the set list. Cheerleader is a great live band and by the time they closed with “Feel like that” many in the crow were sining along.
Set List: A Million Ways / Lovin / PV / Do what you want / Domestica / Sunshine / Skin / On your Side / Feel like that
Then it was time for Eliot Sumner. The intro was a excerpt of “War of the Worlds” music and they took the stage plugged in their bass that looks like it has a ton of history behind it (I would love to tell its story sometime) and took us on a trip. The music is danceable and their voice has a breathless quality to it live. It’s dark, surrounded by music that feels equally at home in classic new wave as it does in 2016. After ordering a glass of wine from the stage the journey continued. Synths became more prominent and the crowd got more and more into the music. Sumner’s stage presence is quite good without being flashy. It is clear who leads the band. I had only briefly listened to a few of their songs but since seeing them live it have caught up and become more and more impressed. We are going to be seeing a lot more of Eliot Sumner.
Oh, and as for the gene pool. I did not notice anything obvious but as I turned away to pack up my cameras and without the visual, it hit me some of the Ohs and some of the note changes sounded just like Sting – and that (especially without trying to hard) is a pretty good thing.
Set List (pending confirmation): Dead Arms & Dead Legs / Firewood / I Followed You Home / Let My Love Lie on Your Life / After Dark / Halfway to Hell / Wobbler / What Good Could Ever Come of This / Come Friday / Information Encore: All My Hate and My Hexes Are for You / Species