Shannon and the Clams at the Larimer Lounge, 6/30/13
Tom Murphy Cody Blanchard of Shannon and the Clams at Larimer Lounge
SHANNON & THE CLAMS @ LARIMER LOUNGE | 6/30/13
Before the last song of the Shannon and the Clams' set, a woman up front yelled out for "Troublemaker," inspiring Cody Blanchard to flash a smile. Turns out, that's exactly what the band had saved for last, and that's when Shannon Shaw really shined. Over the course of their set, Shaw displayed a broad range of vocal abilities, from hushed, nearly spoken sections to higher register moments with gutsy distorted and bursts of raw emotion, where she elevated what would have otherwise just been a well-written pop song with a retro sound into something completely riveting.
Tom Murphy Shannon Shaw of Shannon and the Clams at Larimer Lounge
By the time Shannon and the Clams first took the stage, it seemed like the crowd had expanded tenfold from the beginning of the show. People were dancing like they were seeing something more aggressive thanks to band's strong emotional resonance and the palpable energy and passion it brings to the words and music.
For the second song in, the act performed the electrifying "Sleep Talk," and both Blanchard and Shaw made this fairly challenging music performance seem easy. Shaw informed us that this was the last show of a moderately long tour, but that didn't mean that the band was tired, but that it had had all the other shows leading up to this one as preparation. A bit later, Shaw recalled how the first time the band came to Denver it had played with the Pseudo Dates, and she didn't think anyone actually paid to see that show.
Tom Murphy Shannon and the Clams
During its set, the outfit treated us to songs from across its career thus far, including a spirited take on "The Cult Song" and the effervescent yet bittersweet "Into a Dream." After leaving the stage briefly after "Troublemaker," the threesome came back and Blanchard said, "It's obvious you don't want us to leave yet," and the group went into a new tune called "The Rat House" and then ended with an expert and heartfelt take on Del Shannon's 1961 classic, "Runaway."