The New Pornographers Shake Things Up At First Avenue


On the 1st of October, eager fans filled the floor and balcony to catch beloved indie-rock Canadian group, The New Pornographers at First Avenue’s main room. The band is somewhat of a supergroup. Each member has their own respect musical career. When put together, however, the sound they create is unmatchable by most. Members include Kathryn Calder, Neko Case, John Collins, Todd Fancey, Carl Newman, Joe Seiders, Simi Stone, and Blaine Thurier.

Before these eight rocking musicians took the stage, opener Lady Lamb had some rocking of their own to do. The band, based out of Maine, has been actively making and playing music since 2007. They find a middle ground somewhere between indie-folk and rock making for a great set that has both moments of jam and bounce while also including soothing melancholy melodies. The group was happy to play several tracks off their 2019 album release “Even in the Tremor,” though this didn’t stop them from playing favorites like their set closer “Billions of Eyes.”

The New Pornographers didn’t take much time in the turn around of stage equipment. The group came out one-by-one and wasted no time in pleasing the crowd. The first song they played was “Dancehall Domine.” A fan favorite from their 2014 album “Brill Bruises.” Their longer, 24 song set, was filled with loads of hits from their past albums. There’s so many of them it would be hard to list out. So, all I’ll say is any longtime fan of theirs would not have been disappointed last night.

On top of these fan favorites, the band was also playing some tracks off their newest album “In the Morse Code of Brake Lights.” The album finds the band in darker state of mind unlike what fans have previously experienced with their upbeat melodies of old. Songs of the album didn’t stand out like a sore thumb or depress the audience. They were still playing with the same enthusiasm and happiness of any other song from the night.  

For me, the person to watch that night was Neko Case. Having been a longtime fan of her solo work I was thrilled to see her come onto stage. Neko possess vocal qualities that are incredibly hard to match. They can, however, be harmonized with, as shown by Kathryn Calder and A.C. Newman who also took on the role of lead vocals.

Overall, I don’t think you can ask for a better indie-rock show. Between Lady Lamb and The New Pornographers, you couldn’t really ask for better musicianship. If you have a chance to see either of these groups perform, please do.