Friday, July 24, 2015

TT the Bear's Memory: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, 2/22/13

Photo by Shervin Lainez
With TT the Bear's closing forever this Saturday, I wanted to share some of my favorite memories of the iconic Cambridge rock club. Some of my most cherished musical memories took place within its walls. It is going to be missed greatly.

I almost didn't go to this show. It was on a Friday the same week I started a new job after a couple months of unemployment. I really shouldn't have been spending the extra money on a concert. But then I heard Ripely Pine, which came out the same week. I hadn't had such a strong reaction to a brand new album in years. I was completely blown away by how unique it all sounded, and how every song veered off in completely unexpected directions. I knew I had to finally get out and see her live.

And what a show. The show opened in complete darkness, with her opening with "Up in the Rafters," an a cappella song first heard on Mammoth Swoon. The few people in the audience that were still chattering away immediately stopped and the entire venue gave her voice their full attention. The band (and lights) came on as soon as "Up in the Rafters" was over and started a thunderous version of "Bird Balloons." I always hear people talk about getting goosebumps when listening to certain music, especially at live shows. That had never happened at a show before, but it happened that night, and never since.

The show was also particularly fantastic since she had members of her opening bands (Xenia Rubinos and Cuddle Magic) join her for songs, giving her more complex compositions a complete feeling you can't get with her current three piece configuration. Also, her dad flew up from Texas to join her for a few songs. She mentioned that was the first time they ever played music on stage together. It got a little dusty in there for the next song. After "Crane Your Neck" she commented that she's never had so much fun playing that song and was glad it's now a song you can dance to.

There was a problem with the show that is unique to TT's. Another club, The Middle East, is directly downstairs, and the sound can bleed through pretty heavily during quieter moments. That night there was a Wu-Tang Clan affiliated rapper playing downstairs during Lady Lamb's solo banjo songs, to the point that you could recognize the sample (The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army). That's derailed many shows here, but she joked that her next song's opening line was rather fitting. It was "Regarding Ascending the Stairs" which opens with "I can not think of that song with this music on." It ended up adding to a perfect night of music.

To see the remaining shows on TT's calendar, check out their website. There are only two shows left.

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