Friday, July 25, 2014

Merge 25 Night 2: Eleanor Friedberger, Telekinesis

All photos by Kevin Norris
The second night of the Merge 25 festival kicked off at the Cat's Cradle on Thursday with a solo set from singer-songwriter (and occasional Late Night with Seth Myers 8G Band member) Eleanor Friedberger with a stripped down solo set of songs from her two Merge solo albums, Last Summer and Personal Record.

Other than the occasional drum loop or sample, the set was just Friedberger's voice and guitar which made for an intimate performance. "Early Earthquake" and "Stare at the Sun" were standouts of the set. As a request taken before the set, she played the Fiery Furnaces song "Benton Harbor Blues."

As she reached the end of "My Mistakes" the members of Telekinesis appeared on stage to join her for a killer version of "Roosevelt Island." It was a shame they only joined her for the one song but it was great while it lasted.

After the song Telekinesis disappeared for a brief set change before returning to blaze through a rocking set starting with one of their oldest songs, "Coast of Carolina." The rest of the set primarily pulled from the band's second and third albums including the driving "Ghosts and Creatures," which allowed Michael Lerner to step out from behind the drums as try out his chops as an untethered frontman.

The band's set was tight and on point. Lerner shared his gratitude for Merge Records and seemed to get a bit emotional when talking about his fondness and admiration for the label. The set ended with "Tokyo," the only other song from his self-titled album in the set. It seemed appropriate to begin and end the set with where he started five years ago at XX Merge when at that time he was one of the newest acts to join the label.

Eleanor Friedberger set list
When I Knew
Other Boys
Early Earthquake
I Am the Past
Stare at the Sun
My Own World
Benton Harbor Blues
Singing Time
My Mistakes
Roosevelt Island (w/ Telekinesis)

Telekinesis set list
Coast of Carolina
Please Ask For Help
Ghosts and Creatures
I Cannot Love You
Lean on me
Empathetic People
Dirty Thing
Country Lane
Power Lines
Don’t Change

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