October 3, 2011, 10:00 am
This was not my first rodeo with Liam. The first time I saw him, he was a one-man band, nay, wrecking crew. He floated from instrument to instrument, loop to loop, and song to song. It was a thing of beauty. The next time I saw him, he brought a friend named Eliza Jane. This time, he brought a band.
The reason I fell in love with Finn was his ability to craft a song from beginning to end, in front of your eyes. Before the show began, I was worried that the band would ruin some of that mystique. Fortunately, I was wrong. After playing around on a few instruments, Liam and the band launch into “I’ll Be Lightning,” from the 2007 album of the same name. I could tell right away that I was going to like the band. Sure, it cut down a little on the awesomeness of a one-man band, but it worked. Especially for the songs he played off of his newest, and mellowest, release to date: FOMO.
Liam plays every note of every song with every bit of energy and feeling in his body. The music almost possesses him. It’s certainly a site. When playing a guitar solo, he would often shudder or bend or spasm along with the notes. He played the drums as if unaware that they were miked, hitting each stroke with every bit of oomph in his body.
The set breezed by, with the highlights being: Better to Be, Second Chance (featuring an animated Marques Tolliver on Violin), Plane Crash, and Neurotic World. The final song, Fire in Your Belly, was done with just Liam and Eliza. No band, no looping, just music. A fitting way to end. ~ Jason Miller
***The video below is not from the Portland show, it’s from a 2008 TV show. Just watch the song build. Awesome.
Set List (As close as I could tell):
I’ll Be Lightning
Better to Be
Cruel to Each Other?
Don’t Go Crazy?
In the End?
Jump Your Bones
Fire in Your Belly