I'm going to try and do this for every concert that I go to in the near future, which will hopefully be a lot now that I'm living near Boston.
Last night I saw Cate Le Bon, of UK fame, perform with Kevin Morby and 28 Degrees Taurus as opening bands at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge. If any of you were there, shoutout for being a great crowd. I got there after the first band, 28 Degrees Taurus started playing, and it was a surprisingly small crowd at that point. This was the only band of the three I hadn't listened to at all prior to the concert, but they killed it. Two members, a drummer and a guitarist both of whom would sing vocals depending on the song. It was a reverb drenched dream pop set and I couldn't have asked for a better start. It was somewhat similar to bands like Beach Fossils and Ex Cops, but with more psychedelic influences. The female drumme/singer had a beautiful voice and the drumming carried the music.
Next up was Kevin Morby, who was probably the least interesting act of the act, though it wasn't entirely his fault. Unfortunately the drummer had a wedding to attend yesterday so he ended up doing a mostly solo set. The crowd grew larger at this point, but it was clearly louder and more enthusiastic with the 28 Degrees Taurus set. I will say though, he does have a great voice. It's just that the meandering nature of his songs don't work very well in a setting without a drummer or other instrumentation to complete that dreamy western feel that he was going for.
The headliner for the night was Cate Le Bon, and I predict that this was the smallest venue that she will be playing for a long time (capacity of less than 200 people). It ended up being a sold out show by the time she took the stage, which was awesome. The energy was there during her set, and the crowd was so into it. The only annoying part was the amount of flash photography going on during her first couple of sets, but that's something that you can't avoid. Anyway, back to the set itself. First off, she took the stage wearing a gold nightgown and gold boots, and had a somewhat aloof nature to her during her songs. That is to say, that it almost appeared as if she knew something that you didn't, or felt something that you didn't feel. She has an incredible voice, with a great vocal range. But where she really excels is in her ability to sustain a note, especially live. There was great harmonizing between her, the bassist, and the second guitarist/keyboardist. My absolute favorite parts of the set though, were during the songs Cuckoo Through the Walls and Fold the Cloth, which turned into these incredible noise rock songs in a live setting. You got lost in it between her singing, the distorted everything, and the drumming. Which brings me to the next point, the drumming for Cate Le Bon is intense live. It's much more invigorating and chaotic than what you hear on the studio records. Her stage banter was great to, she interacted with the crowd and appeared to be having a good time.
Overall, I would definitely recommend seeing her live if she's playing anywhere near you.