lake.jpg
12 (?!) people (and a skull) onstage for Agesandages' closing number.
LAKE, Agesandages, Cataldo

The Tractor

Sunday, May 15

Last night's show at the Tractor

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LAKE, Cataldo, and Agesandages Bring the Cozy Vibes, Last Night at the Tractor

lake.jpg
12 (?!) people (and a skull) onstage for Agesandages' closing number.
LAKE, Agesandages, Cataldo

The Tractor

Sunday, May 15

Last night's show at the Tractor was what I believe is called in common parlance a "stacked bill"--three bands you know are going to bring it. The lineup of Cataldo, Agesandages, and LAKE makes sense: Not only do they pair well sonically, they're bands that want to play together. And bring it they did, albeit in a relaxed, Sunday-night way.

Up first, Cataldo, whose songs, a little bit Decemberists, a little bit Death Cab, are the sonic equivalent of a comfy couch. With his unkempt beard, wire-rimmed glasses, and pedestrian sweater, frontman Eric Anderson looked almost professorial, but his surefooted vocals sounded more Paul Simon than anything your math teacher could muster. The upbeat tone of the songs and their bright instrumentation-- vigorously strummed acoustic guitar backed by violin, keys, and electric bass-- belies a strong songwriting backbone and even some darker subject matter--pretty sure I heard vengeful breakup lyrics at one point, but the songs are so catchy you'd never suspect.

Second act Agesandages were recently named one of the best new bands in Portland by Willamette Week. They were also tuckered out, as this show marked the final night of a five-week tour with LAKE. In a touching moment, frontman Tim Perry gave his heartfelt thanks to his bandmates for their hard work and dedication on the road, and the fact they all still get along after cramming seven people in a van for a month is seriously commendable. Yes, you read that right--Agesandages have seven members, meaning they have serious firepower behind their harmonies and percussion, plus the ability to achieve syncopated clapping. At first a little choppy, their folk-pop (yes, that again) set built to a thrilling conclusion when they invited the members of LAKE to join on the last two numbers, turning in an oversize version of the great "So So Freely" with a full dozen people singing.

LAKE took the stage to a thinning crowd, and though they too seemed a bit tired and glad to be off the road, their songs sounded as fresh and polished as ever. Mainly playing songs from their new album, Giving and Receiving, LAKE have a great vibe reminiscent of '60s beach parties. I'm almost 100 percent certain they don't listen to Stereolab or Air, but their cool keyboard sounds and singer Ashley Eriksson's soothing, vibrato-less vocals remind me a bit of '90s French pop. Their songs are refreshing in the truest sense of the word, and if it got a laugh when singer Eli Moore commented "Rock and roll" between songs--hey, not everyone is going to be Dio.

Some of the band lives on Whidbey Island, so Moore ended the set by saying "We're going to play two more songs, and then we're going to catch the last ferry." He then invited Agesandages up to sing, a fitting end to a collaborative night of bands who clearly like and respect each other.

FYI: LAKE started out as a Fleetwood Mac cover band.

Overheard: "Is there some rule that six people on stage is awkward, but 12 is awesome?"

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