Concert Review: The Sea And Cake, Brokeback, November 5, Lee’s Palace

Toronto – The Sea And Cake are the sort of band that attracts a certain kind of fan.  They put on the kind of show where a decent percentage of those in the audience are watching with intent admiration as they play.  And with good reason – these guys can certainly play.  The Chicago post-rockers have been at it since 1994 plying their brand of slightly jazzy, somewhat mellow tunes.  Not that it was all that mellow.  I wouldn’t exactly describe any of their songs as rockers, but there was a certain amount of aggressiveness in some of the tunes, especially in the propulsive basslines and John McEntire’s solid drumming.  Guitarist Archer Prewitt was especially impressive to watch as he would rock back and forth and do a few kicks now and then while playing, all while dressed in a manner befitting a History professor or something.  For that matter, all of the band members looked a bit like they could be on staff at a University with the possible exception of bassist Eric Claridge, who bore a slight resemblance to Waylon Jennings.

Overall, the band played a great set, with the songs from their latest, The Moonlight Butterfly, fitting in seamlessly with their older tracks.  In fact, one of my personal highlights of the night came from that album – “Inn Keeping”. Another highlight for me was hearing singer/guitarist Sam Prekop refer to the crowd collectively as “man,” as in “Thanks, man.”  At least I’m pretty sure that’s what I heard.

Openers Brokeback also played a great set.  The band, led by Doug McCombs of Tortoise and Eleventh Dream Day fame, offered up a set of slow burning instrumentals that brought to mind Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack at times and showcased McCombs’ impressive guitar skills.  It appears they haven’t put out anything new since 2003’s Looks At The Bird, but here’s hoping they’ve got something else in the works, or at least some plans to play live again every now and then.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything