So here we are. The final night of XX Merge at Memorial Hall. The line-up was solid and the show was great. Let's get started.
Young Baltimore duo Wye Oak took the stage first. They played a set mostly of songs from their brand new album The Knot, released on July 21. "That I Do," "Take It In" and "For Prayer" were all stellar tunes. They also played a fantastic new rocking song, which you can see a video of here.
Jenn Wasner's vocals shined throughout the set and Andy Stack gets huge props for playing the drums so well while also playing bass lines on the keyboard. This was my first time seeing Wye Oak live, like many of the bands at XX Merge, and they were truly excellent.
Wye Oak set list:
Milk and Honey
Take It In
Talking About Money
That I Do
Next up was the unexpected comedic crooner of the night, American Music Club. Singer Mark Etzel and a pianist Marc Capelle played a very old school, lounge-esque set of American Music Club's cheeky, politically incorrect songs. Eztel's banter and storytelling about everything from a gay strip club in Ohio after September 11 to some pretty off-color jokes about cancer and AIDS had the crowd in stitches throughout the set.
The set included the beautiful "Patriot's Heart" about the aforementioned gay strip club and "The Windows on the World" about New York, the World Trade Center, drugs and the end of the world. It was a phenomenal, minimalist set from another songwriter/group that we'll definitely be digging into more in the future.
Check out photos of Wye Oak and American Music Club below. Our final XX Merge post about She & Him will be coming soon.
[all photos by Kevin Norris]
American Music Club