About 15 minutes after opener Laura Gibson was supposed to start, I walked into the venue to see what the deal was. I stepped foot inside the second the first chord of “Damn Sure” was struck. Club Dada’s outdoor patio had gradually filled but inside was void of people, probably waiting it out until the arrival of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
From the first song, Gibson had the small audience hooked, luring the outside attendees slowly, but surely, with her (acoustic) siren’s song. A mousy, soft-spoken, incredibly sweet woman, she was equally as entertaining in between songs as she was while playing, making jokes about how angsty and melancholy a few of her songs were, and promising that the name of her title track “Empire Builder sounds self-aggrandizing, but is actually just about a train”. Armed with just an acoustic guitar and, for one song, a piano, Gibson traveled from the guitar styles of The White Stripes to Mumford and Sons to Bright Eyes, with her breaking croon keeping a consistent, smooth-as-velvet tone.
With our hearts and souls happy and full, the crowd eagerly awaited Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. We didn’t have to wait very long, however, because it seemed the second that Gibson stepped off stage, the band stepped on. Wasting no time whatsoever, they launched right into “As Always” from their 2014 album Only Run, and just kept the ball rolling from there.
Keeping a pretty steady balance between tracks from their new album The Tourist and fan favorites from their self-titled and older albums, frontman Alec Ounsworth’s energy was half the show. His movement and demeanor could best be described with the word “lazy”, but absolutely not in a negative sense. He moved around like an extremely coordinated bag of syrup, even at some point prancing around the thin edge of the stage, never once losing his balance.
With a constant grin in between songs and an incredible sense of back-and-forth with the crowd, he matched Gibson’s ability to keep the entire audience interested the entire time. After essentially closing with their most popular tracks “The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth” and “Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood,” they joked, in classic Dada fashion, about not having anywhere to go before the encore, so they just stayed onstage and finished out with “Fireproof,” “Ketamine and Ecstasy,” and “Heavy Metal”, leaving the crowd more than incredibly satisfied as they left the stage.’
Last night, Laura Gibson was a satisfying three course meal, leaving just enough room for the sweet, sweet dessert with a cherry on top Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to finish everything off with a bang, and a twirl.