|All photos by Kevin Norris|
The band dazzled the crowd with their virtuosity and pop sensibility, playing a large number of songs from their latest album Antifogmatic. A cover of Fiona Apple's song "On the Bound" was an excellent inclusion in the set. Banjo player Noam Pikelny noted that the band recently recorded a song with Apple which will likely be on her new album that expected to be released in 2011.
Other great covers were scattered through the set including their standards of The Strokes' "Heart In a Cage" and Gillian Welch's "Wayside (Back In Time)." The band grooved out and got the crowd singing on The Band's classic "Ophelia" and showed off their instrumental chops on Radiohead's "Morning Bell."
The band's transition seamlessly during the set between "Me and Us" and "Alex," the latter of which created a massive singalong from the crowd. The main set closed with the barn-burner "Rye Whiskey."
Only moments latter, fiddle player Gabe Witcher and bassist Paul Kowert returned for a duet of the old Carter Family tune "You Are My Flower." Witcher's rich baritone suited the song nicely and Kowet's fluid bass made for a interesting arrangement.
The rest of the group returned to the stage for one of the most unlikely covers, "Icarus Smicarus" originally by the Welsh band Mclusky. The guys transformed the thrashing song into their own charming style of string band pop.
The band left the stage again, but the crowd wanted more, so they returned for two more songs. The somber Antifogmatic tune "This Is the Song" slowed things down a bit, but the band closed with a blistering traditional bluegrass which showcased each member of the band numerous times.
If the band's smiles and constant admiration of the crowd and the venue were any indication — Thile noted several times that the Cradle crowd was the best he'd ever played to — we'll be seeing Punch Brothers back at the Cat's Cradle again.
Next To the Trash
Don't Need No
On the Bound
Watch 'at Breakdown
Heart In a Cage
Bailey/I Know You Know
Me and Us
Wayside (Back In Time)
The Blind Leaving the Blind 3rd movement (excerpt)
You Are My Flower (Gabe & Paul)
This Is the Song