After a hot outdoor set at Orange County Social Club, XX Merge-goers gathered two hours later for the fourth night of the festival at the Cat's Cradle. The night started with a surprise introduction of the first band by Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard. He popped out for about five second to introduce Telekinesis.
As the band took the stage, there was another great surprise. Telekinesis brainchild Michael Benjamin Lerner were joined on stage by Matthew Caws of Nada Surf on guitar and Ivan Howard of The Rosebuds on bass. Lerner plays drums and sings live, but played most of the instruments on his debut album. The all-star band had rehearsed once, just hours before the show, but sounded great. They launched into the catchy tune "Tokyo" and quickly made their way through a nine-song set.
Lerner said that he was pretty nervous to be playing the festival, seeing as he's the newest band to join the Merge roster. The set closed with the fitting and hook laden tune "Coast of Carolina." Check out a partial set list below.
Telekinesis set list:
One Step Forward
Look to the East
I Saw Lightning
Coast of Carolina
Next up were the reunited Raleigh band Erectus Monotone. The band played a fierce set of tunes from their various 7" and EP releases. They opened with "Hummus" and guitarist Andy Freeburn played with a piece of tape over his mouth. He later removed it, saying that he used to have a big mouth back in the early 90s.
One of the many highlights from the set was the catchy song "Old New." The group closed with the frantic song "Coffee" and Freeburn defiantly dropped his guitar on stage which led to the neck and body breaking apart. It didn't seem that the breaking of the guitar was part of the plan, but it definitely was a dramatic way to end the set. Check out the mostly complete set list below.
Erectus Monotone set list:
The Day the Sharks Flew
Salt & Water
I Am in the World
Check out photos of Telekinesis and Erectus Monotone below. More coverage of night four and coverage of night five of XX Merge will follow shortly.
[all photos by Kevin Norris]