It was a mild and comfortable evening Wednesday night for the kick off of Duke Performances Music in Gardens series with Raleigh's own Annuals. A large crowd packed onto the lawn to hear the band rip through a 15-song set spanning the band's career.
The band kicked things off with the Such Fun stomper "Hair Don't Grow" and the pedal steel ballad "Always Do." They also played some songs off of their new Sweet Sister EP including the title track and "Holler and Howl." The tunes don't sound quite as hokey live as they do recorded, which is a plus.
Annuals were in good form and sounded tight, but certainly not as tight as they've been in the past. On the same note, a new sense of spontaneity seems to have breathed new life into the band.
The set closed with the explosive "Hot Night Hounds," but the band returned to the stage after a few moments. The lone encore song was "Eyes In the Darkness," a Such Fun bonus track that can be found on iTunes.
Annuals was a great start to the Music In the Gardens series and next week will feature Camera Obscura. Stay posted all summer for coverage of each show.
Annuals set list
Hair Don't Grow
Around Your Neck
Holler and Howl
Complete or Completing
Chase You Off
Hot Night Hounds
Eyes In the Darkness
[all photos by Kevin Norris]