Sunday, March 24, 2013

Maps & Atlases @ 20th Century Theater

When: January 23, 2013
Where: 20th Century Theater

The Show: I caught Maps & Atlases at the 20th Century Theater in Cincinnati on January 23. Although I'd been listening to the band, I hadn't spent a lot of time with their music, so I was on the fence about going to see them live. I'm glad I made the choice, though, as the precise, mathematical folk sounds that are presented on their albums really come to life in a live setting.

I arrived about 30 minutes after the opening act, a local band named Archer's Paradox, started playing. I caught the end of their set and, as far as local bands go, they weren't too bad, though they weren't doing anything particularly revolutionary with their sound. The real treat, and the reason I was there in the first place, was the main act.

The lead singer is a sight to behold. Dave Davidson has long hair and a beard that almost rivals it in length. In true guitar virtuoso fashion, his nails are grown out long to aid in finger-picking. And he truly is a virtuoso, playing in a way that really separates him from what is typically expected from a guitar god (yes, I'm putting him in that group), with precise melodies in place of riffs and played in a way that is mesmerizing to watch.

That's not to say, of course, that the rest of the band was any less impressive (though Dave's hair wins the whole thing). The bassist, Shiraz Dada, switches between his bass and a bass drum (which may not sound impressive, but you should have seen him playing). I spent the majority of the time looking at those two, I'm sure the drummer and second guitarist were just as awesome, though!

Mini setlist:

"Old & Gray"
"Remote and Dark Years"

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