Review: The Joy Formidable and A Place to Bury Strangers at the Bluebird Theater, 3/17/12

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Tom Murphy
A Place to Bury Strangers at the Bluebird Theater


A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS @ BLUEBIRD | 3/17/12

Saturday night's show began with A Place to Bury Strangers, who strolled out on stage before the house music could be turned down and got to business. The band's set was comprised half of material from its excellent new EP, Onwards to the Wall beginning with the title track. The melancholy shimmer of "So Far Away" was an interesting change from the incendiary and aggressive material that can be found on about some of its previous albums.

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Tom Murphy
A Place to Bury Strangers at the Bluebird Theater

When the threesome kicked into "Deadbeat," Oliver Ackerman held his guitar not like a musical instrument so much as something that spilt forth fire if properly used. He and Dion Lunadon held their instruments aloft and hunched forward with each almost like marionettes guided against their willpower to engage in gyrations both physical and musical. The transitions between songs could be discerned best in the change in beat, the strongest of which happened when the guys shifted from "I Lived My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart" to "Ocean."

It was Jay Space's pounding pulse of a beat that indicated where one song began and another ended. As usual, the song was a bit of a barn-burner and show-closer, but somehow these guys followed it up with two more tracks from their latest release and made each of the songs more forceful and brooding than you would expect. For "Drill It Up," Lunadon sang lead and the band's set careened to an end with "Nothing Will Surprise Me."

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Tom Murphy
A Place to Bury Strangers at the Bluebird Theater


SETLIST

A Place to Bury Strangers
Bluebird Theater - 3/17/12
Denver, CO

01. Onwards to the Wall
02. So Far Away
03. Deadbeat
04. Lost Feeling
05. I Lived My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart
06. Ocean
07. Drill It Up
08. Nothing Will Surprise Me


CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK

Personal Bias: Already a fan of both bands.

Random Detail: A Place to Bury Strangers posts interesting pictures to their website regularly.

By the Way: This was the most enthusiastic crowd that I've seen for a show for both bands in a long while.



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music

Location Info

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Bluebird Theater

3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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