Concert Review: Shearwater, Death Vessel, Jesca Hoop, March 27, Horseshoe Tavern


Shearwater’s latest, Fellow Travellers, is a covers album with a unique theme – the band covers artists that they have toured with in the past while also collaborating with said “fellow travellers” on the record. It’s fitting then that for this tour, they recruited opener Jesca Hoop on keyboards, vocals and percussion, thus continuing the tradition of collaboration.

Though Shearwater were touring behind Fellow Travellers, their set was loaded with songs from  2012’s Animal Joy, which suited me just fine. “Animal Life,” “Breaking The Yearlings,” and “You As You Were” sounded great and got a strong reaction from the crowd, but the covers were just as interesting.  Their cover of Xiu Xiu’s “I Love The Valley Oh!” was introduced by Jonathan Meiburg as “a ’90s rock anthem waiting to get out.” Meiburg explained that the bird samples featured in that song were contributed by David Thomas Broughton, another former tourmate covered on the new album.  When Meiburg asked how many had heard of Broughton, one person responded with a cheer, to which Meiburg replied,”That’s about right.” Meiburg then went on to tell stories to the audience of his cryptic email exchanges with Broughton, who definitely sounds like an interesting individual.


Playing the middle slot between Hoop and Shearwater was Death Vessel, who seem to be building up a bit of a buzz on the strength of Joel Thibodeau’s ethereal voice and strong songwriting.  One thing that struck me during their set was that every member of the band had a mic and would contribute harmonies throughout.  This, combined with the two members who switched from instrument to instrument, made for an interesting dynamic onstage.  If by chance Shearwater ever release Fellow Travellers Volume 2, I’d suggest that Death Vessel might be good candidates to make the cut.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts