Friday, January 17, 2014

Live Shows: David Wax Museum, The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA 12-28-13

David Wax Museum might be my favorite current band to see live. Before this show, I had seen them play live five times, everywhere from the Newport Folk Festival, a dimly lit basement show, a church, and a sparsely attended outdoor show in New Hampshire. Like no other band I've ever seen, they truly fit their setting, making every show completely unique.

The Sinclair (my favorite venue right now) might be the most traditional place I've seen them play so far. It was also the band's return to the stage after multi-instrumentalist Suz Slezak gave birth six weeks prior. Let that sink in for a second... one of the two main members of the band gave birth to a child six weeks before, and they had a mini tour. That speaks volumes about what playing live means to these guys. I don't think any band matches David Wax Museum's sheer love of playing music. It wouldn't matter to them if only ten people showed up. They'd still go all out and have a blast just for themselves.

David Wax Museum just keeps getting better every time I see them. The chemistry between David Wax and Suz Slezak is amazing. They're pretty much the Fred and Ginger of the indie folk world. Songs get slightly tweaked for each show, making even the sixth time you see them completely different. At the Sinclair, "Night Was a Car" took an almost religious zest, although I don't know how many preachers would openly sing a song about wanting to see a lady's dress fall. "Unfruitful" is always a highlight of their set, reaching purely epic proportions. "Carpenter Bird" might have been the most memorable part of the night, with each member of the band wandering the venue and playing their own parts, until they reconvened in the center of the floor to play all together. It worked out a bit better when they did the same at the more spacious Arlington Street Church, where they could spread out more and truly get lost by the crowd.

Once again, an amazing show by one of the most memorable bands out there. My only complaint: Not enough donkey jawbone.

Head on over to David Wax Museum's website for some more information, including their current tour dates. Please do yourself a favor and check them out when they come by you.

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