Wednesday, February 16, 2011
About Last Night: The Builders and the Butchers @ Wonder Ballroom
Last Night we welcomed home one of our own as the Builders and the Butchers played to a packed house at the Wonder Ballroom. Torn between pride in our native sons and jealousy in their absence we came out on a Tuesday night pressing towards the stage like a sea of flesh. Portland and her inhabitant's have never been much for abstinence and when deprived of one of our favorite bands you can be certain we will gather for our fix like junkies at the methadone clinic.
Opening the night was an energetic set from Damion Suomi and the pub folk of his Minor Prophets. Wonderfully fun and strong with a stage presence that speaks of the band's skill and their time on the road their set transformed me from a mildly impressed observer to a true believer. Starting off the night right they were effective in their purpose having the crowd warmed up and ready. Headlining the show were the formidable Murder by Death but you wouldn't have been able to tell it by the enthusiasm of the audience as the Builders and the Butchers took to the stage. As excited as we were, it was just as apparent that the band was glad to be playing for a room full of home town believers.
Comfortable and energetic the band launched right into some of the fan favorites. At the top of their game the band showcased their wonderfully diverse and vibrant musical style in it's most potent form. As we stood their we boarded a roller coaster that surprisingly starts off with a breath taking drop and only gets better from their. Unfortunately the band was plagued by sound issues throughout most of their set, including a pair of mating whales, but like the tried and tested musicians they are the band pushed through. In turn the audience was forgiving, taking up the slack at times, singing right along with the band smoothing over any technical issues.
As the set progressed we were given a sneak peak of some of the tracks from the new album Dead Reckoning. The new songs were wonderful little treats richly dark and perfectly executed, proving that this band has just started on their rise. New or old the band was having fun up their on stage and it translated into the crowd adding to the lively energy of the night. This was a great show and all of us knew it.