Echo - February 3, 2009
Live Review and Photographs by Alexis Roberts
Over the past year or so, the world has been seeing and hearing quite a bit from singer Sera Cahoone. The slender Seattleite opened the show for the Fruit Bats and drew a mighty large crowd for herself. Cahoone’s music has a beautiful, rich alt-country sound that meshed in a lovely way with her soothing vocals, It also translated quite well from album to stage. Only as the Day is Long was released last year and has since gained Cahoone a following large enough to fill a room on a Tuesday evening.
Her stage presence could be described as shy for lack of a better term. Nevertheless she could be found nothing less than endearing as she hid behind her short hair and focused intently on plucking away at the strings of her guitar, keeping her head low during musical interludes in the songs when she didn’t have her lips to the microphone.
Her performance held up to all of the good things that you will hear about Cahoone. Her voice is like butter melting on warm toast. She makes you feel comfortable and at ease like you are a guest in her home, watching her from a well broken-in sofa.
The Fruit Bats sort of fell off the radar over the past few years since their 2005 release Spelled in Bones. Chief Fruit Bat Eric Johnson took time away from this project to take up a full time role as a member of The Shins, and apparently to grow out his hair.
Their set was initiated by playing several new songs which were in fact, rockin’. The line-up appears to have changed a bit since the days in which Spelled in Bones was a recent release.
The highlight of the set came when they covered a Neil Young classic, "Helpless" and James Mercer of The Shins hopped up on stage to join in on back-up vocals. Mercer came and went like a ghost and was not seen again during the set, which must have left the crowd a bit perplexed.
The Fruit Bats carried on to play older songs from previous albums such as "The Little Acorn" from Mouthfuls, but strayed from fan favorite "Dragon Ships". Even in their three song encore they didn’t bring it, which could have been mighty disappointing had they not otherwise slayed their set. It’s a happy day when a band that appeared to have disappeared comes back locked and loaded with a new artillery of promising songs.