Matthew Sweet at Cat's Cradle:
Couple of observations. First of all, he and his band were LOUD. Too loud. Now I know that "if it's too loud, then you're too old" so I felt decrepit thinking they were far, far too loud for the space. Then I saw some people much younger than I am flinching and trying to get away from the speakers, so after that I didn't feel too bad for thinking so. The loudness actually interfered with Sweet's superb voice and outstanding lyrics, in my opinion. I didn't time him, but he didn't play for long, either. At any rate, he has a new CD out called Sunshine Lies and they played some tunes from it of course, opening with Time Machine from that CD. He also played some of his older ones that I enjoy such as I've Been Waiting, Girlfriend, Sick of Myself, You Don't Love Me, and Divine Intervention. You can hear a few of his songs in their entirety at his MySpace page here.
The opening act The Bridges are a group of siblings originally from Tarboro NC. I know--Tarboro! Young, with a highly melodic energetic poppy sound. Matthew Sweet produced their first CD, Limits of the Sky, and I liked their sound enough to spring for their CD. They currently have a video playing on MTV (they still show music videos?) that you can see here, and some of their songs can be heard here. The brief Boston Globe's review of the video said they "might win points for their pouting, comely looks in this video, but when was the last time you heard a group of kids making like Fleetwood Mac and actually pulling it off with a soulful, harmony-rich ballad?"
One online review at snob's music review said:
Limits of the Sky is the debut album from the family quintet. Produced by Matthew Sweet, it's a tremendous collection of bright medolic pop songs.
The group's songwriting demonstrates a pop sensilibility far outstripping their young age (all in their early 20s). Not since Ben Lee's debut have we seen a band show us this level of song craftsmanship right out of the shoot.
Vocals are definitely the focal point of the music . . . The Bridges clearly benefit from Sweet's guidance. The songs are chock full of catchy melodic choruses and vocal hooks.
The show ended around midnight so we hit TimeOut on Franklin Street for a quick bite then headed back to Durham.
So much music to see, so little time. Troika Music Festival is going on in Durham this weekend too.