There is a video of Brother’s first song of the night, ‘The Time Is Now‘ as a bonus!
Before I get to far gone with this review, I want to thank a few people. Thanks to Curtis Smith from Maelstrom Music PR for hooking us up. Thanks to Kathy, Leslie and Libby (cool camera, we’re very jealous) for taking care of us at the show. And of course thanks to the guys of Brother, both for giving us a great interview (which will be posted soon) and for an unbelievable show.
First off, I should probably start with a little back-story, for those of you who don’t know. About 9 months ago, Steve, Angus and Hamish, along their road manager Fedj, were involved in a rather serious traffic accident. All four were hospitalized, but luckily no one was too seriously injured, and they all made wonderful recoveries. Now they’ve started a new tour, and did they ever start it off right. Hamish, Angus and Steve all look well, and they have a new drummer, Rule, who had some big pedals to fill, but did a great job.
We got to the El Rey during the sound check, and just from the bits and pieces of songs that I was hearing, I could tell it was going to be a great show. I was a bit surprised that their first show back in action was not at the Troubadour, since they seem to really like that venue. However, once the crowd started showing up, I realized there was no way the Troub would’ve been able to accommodate the number of people that would be in attendance this evening. Once the show actually got underway, it was clear that the band had missed the fans as much as the fans had missed them. A Brother show has a very intimate atmosphere, not matter how many people are in the crowd, and this show was no exception. If there are any technical problems, the guys just talk with the crowd while the problems are being worked out. In fact, while they were working out one problem last night, Angus said something to the effect of “introduce yourselves while we try to fix the stereo.” And that’s exactly what a Brother show feels like, as if you’re at a party at someone’s house just hanging out and listening to some good music.
As always, Brother’s Celtic and Tribal influences were present in both old favorites and a few new songs. Opening with “The Time is Now,” they played an incredible set of 15 songs followed by a 4-song encore. The didj and bagpipes made several welcome appearances during the evening, on songs like “History,” “Stand,” “2 Chairs & One Tree,” and one of my favorites, “Blackest of Blue.” Dalbo, their former drummer, even joined them for a few songs, playing the Djembe, a bongo-like drum. He helped out with their finale, “Romp & Circumstance,” as well as their second finale, “Clumsy Lover.” Celeste Prince also joined them for a great blues song, “Made a Mistake.” To be honest, I had never heard of her before, but I seriously doubt, that this will be the last time I hear of her. She has an unbelievable voice, and I was blown away when I heard her sing.
I think this little story best sums up a Brother show. I was speaking with a woman prior to the show, who told me she had never seen Brother before, but her friends told her she had to come. I saw her after the show was over and asked her what she thought of her first live Brother experience. She said they were incredible and she told me “I’m in love!” (MB: Oddly enough, Brother raffled off Hamish’s shirt to help out Fedj and his medical bills and this lady won the shirt. How cool is that?) No matter how hard I try, I couldn’t possible give a better review than that. If you have the opportunity to see Brother live, don’t miss it. You’ll be in love too, guaranteed.
We will have pictures in the multimedia section here at UE soon. Check back, and support the scene.