Saturday, March 22, 2003
Considering the number of projects each member of The Sea and Cake is involved in, it's remarkable that the four musicians can synchronize their schedules for a tour, which made a stop Friday at a packed Bottleneck.
Despite guitarist Archer Prewitt and bassist Eric Claridge recently working on or having finished full-length solo albums and lead singer Sam Prekop working on his photography skills, the band put together a tight, nearly perfect show in promotion of its latest release, "One Bedroom."
The main reason for the band's brilliance, though, is drummer John McEntire. It was appropriate that McEntire, the busiest man in Chicago's incestuous post-rock scene, spent the show spotlighted with his shadow appearing larger than life on a pair of screens behind his drum kit.
The Sea and Cake's set list from Friday's show at the Bottleneck.
|The Kiss||The Biz|
|Left Side Clouded||One Bedroom|
|Mr. F||One Bedroom|
|The Biz||The Biz|
|Shoulder Length||One Bedroom|
|The Colony Room||Oui|
|An Echo In||Glass EP|
|Jacking the Ball||Sea and Cake|
|Sound and Vision||One Bedroom|
|The Argument||The Fawn|
|Try Nothing||One Bedroom|
The influence of McEntire, who engineered and mixed "One Bedroom," was as obvious on stage as on album. Taking time off from working on the newest Tortoise album, McEntire's focused percussion work was the driving force behind The Sea and Cake's enthusiastic yet controlled performance.
Rather than spend time with extended jams at the end of many songs like the last time they played The Bottleneck, the musicians impeccably nailed all 17 songs. From old standards such as "Jacking the Ball" to "An Echo In" from the tour EP "Glass," each song benefited from increased attention to detail rather than showmanship. The band still took the opportunity to show its ability with jams at the end of "Everyday" and crowd favorite "Leeora," but otherwise stuck to the album version of each song.
Like their last stop in Lawrence, the band members spent little time interacting with fans, other than Prewitt's plug for www.votetoimpeach.org, which received an unsurprisingly positive response from the crowd.
With other albums, bands and artistic outlets to deal with, that the band can worry about politics should say something about its ability to multitask. Of course, those skills are probably obvious to anyone who's seen The Sea and Cake's live show and heard some of the best and catchiest pop music this side of commercial radio.