BRAIDS at The Sail In, (9/30/11)

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BRAIDS The Sail Inn Friday, September 30, 2011

The thing most interesting about BRAIDS is the band's ability to create elegant, intricate post-rock without coming off as overtly eccentric. There's a reason why they engage in a side-stage group-hug before hoping on stage. Crafting music as delicate as theirs requires them to be on the same sonic sound-wave, being able to completely feed of each other.

Friday night's performance showed their ability to create a cerebral, surreal sound -- manipulating their layered composition and building a prodding wall of sound. It was magnificent.

The atmosphere Friday night was an odd mix of eagerness and the overwhelming irritation of not being able to block the sound of Blink-182's "Rock Show" floating from across the lake.

There was a slight feeling of nostalgia after hearing the sounds of Fall Frenzy, and the pleasant dream-pop sounds of openers, Factories (formerly Underwater Getdown) & San Francisco's Painted Palms still sounded great, despite the sonic distraction.

Compared to their show less than a year ago, at this same venue, BRAIDS seems to have progressively built a solid fan base. Perhaps it's the seductively sweet vocals of singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston , or maybe the band's sound has managed to draw some fans from the Animal Collectivecamp.

The band makes complex music, but somehow they were able to remain comfortably playful, coalescing in a progressively advanced string of interwoven guitar loops, heavy synths, and illustrious arrangements.

Even more entertaining, was the crowd's interpretation of their music -- it's not everyday you get to see a gang of slightly drunk hipsters trying to mimic a three minute loop of "oohs and ahhs" -- a gesture that seemed to create a playful dynamic within the crowd.

There's always a certain apathetic intensity of a typical Tempe crowd, but the playfulness of the attendees last night made the music that much more appealing.

It's always such a thrill to watch the member's of BRAIDS bring their experimental jam session to life at their always entertaining shows - as shrill and intense as their music might be, their ability to effortlessly portray it's innate vulnerability is what makes them such a unique and decidedly fantastic band to watch.

Setlist: Deep Running Glass Deers Candy Spills Lemonade Plath Heart Victoria In Kind

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: BRAIDS at the Sail Inn

The Crowd:Typical Friday night hipsters.

Overheard:"Don't stop braiding!"

Personal Bias: I freaking love BRAIDS!

Random Notebook Dump:The outdoor stage is beautiful, agreed. But having a show outside, especially while the noise from Fall Frenzy blared across the lake was probably not the best idea.

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