First show since Halloween . . . although we would have gone to see Diane Coffee at 529 last weekend if that show hadn't been cancelled at the last minute. But as good a way as any to return to the clubs is a set by our local favorites Little Tybee and our old friends Here We Go Magic.
We were surprised to realize this was our first time seeing Little Tybee this year, as we've seen them many times in the past and they play fairly frequently in Atlanta. But better late than etc., and Little Tybee managed to sell out The Earl (much of the full house had already left by the time the headliners took the stage).
Overall, the show got off to a late start. Big Thief was supposed to open, but their tour bus reportedly broke down in Alabama and they were late getting to The Earl. Although the doors opened at 9:00 pm, Little Tybee didn't take the stage to fill in for Big Thief until 10:30, in part, we suppose, due to confusion and in part to let the majority of the audience, who had come to see Little Tybee, arrive. Despite this minor hitch, Little Tybee played a great set of mostly new material (new at least to us, but then again, it's been a year). On top of that, Brock Scott broke a string on his guitar twice during the set and had to run off-stage both times to get a replacement and re-tune, and the band played some fairly satisfying improvised jams to fill the time, indicating their high level of musicianship.
Brooklyn's Big Thief did finally make it to The Earl and played a nice but short set so that headliners Here We Go Magic wouldn't have to come on too late.
Big Thief is basically a showcase for singer and guitarist Adrianne Lenker, who ably carried the too-short set.
Here We Go Magic took the stage a little after midnight, about what we expected for three bands and a 9:00 pm opening.
We've seen Here We Go Magic before, including the old line-up featuring bassist Jennifer Turner and keyboardist Teeny Lieberson (Teen) at The Earl in 2010 and 2011, and the new lineup without Turner and Lieberson at The Georgia Theater opening for Andrew Bird in 2012. Since that time, however, we've missed them, so it was nice to catch back up with them three years later and hear their new songs, which still groove along to their infectious rhythms, but are even more complex with more sonic textures that before.
Bonus fun points to Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker for bringing fireball shooters onto the stage for Here We Go Magic during their set, and for dancing with the girls in The Earl's audience during HWGM's set.
Here are some videos of last night's performers.