Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Live Shows: Hallelujah the Hills and Cassie Berman, The Lilypad, Cambridge, MA 10/8/22

I almost didn't post about this show. I went mostly because it was a Hallelujah the Hills show at the eighty person capacity Lilypad, and that just can't be missed. But, I'm completely unfamiliar with Cassie Berman, and I'm embarrassingly unfamiliar with Silver Jews or the music of David Berman despite it being right in my musical sweet spot, including time period. The evening started off with Cassie Berman and Silver Jews touring guitarist Peyton Pinkerton playing music, and then slowly joined by members of Hallelujah the Hills as her backing band, coming and going as was necessary. Eventually Berman and Pinkerton left and it became a Hallelujah the Hills show, with both Berman and Pinkerton rejoining at various times.

As I decided I wouldn't be posting about this show during Cassie Berman's set so I didn't embarrass myself, a funny thing happened. Slowly the enthusiasm the majority of the crowd became contagious. I may have not been a Silver Jews disciple like everyone else, but I slowly got sucked in just by how special the performance was. Even if this wasn't someone's style of music, and if they didn't particularly enjoy Berman's performance (which seems silly to say), they would have ended up mesmerized simply by osmosis from the rest of the audience. From what was said from the stage, much of the set was unreleased solo songs, so let's hope those end up recorded and released someday soon.

For the Hallelujah the Hills portion of the evening, they opened with their two newest songs, "God is so Lonely Tonight" and "Superglued to You." Considering how brand new these songs are, it's shocking how quickly they've been integrated into their sets and how they've become fan favorites. From there, it was like a greatest hits set with favorites like "Hallelujah the Hills" and "People Keep Dying (And No One Can Stop It)." How great does a band have to be to turn a song with the chorus of "People keep dying and no one can stop it" into a feel good, shout along song? They also played a few songs from their current incredibly ambitious project DECK, where they'll be releasing four albums of fifty two songs, one for each card in a deck of cards. The brand new songs sound like they're going to be fantastic, and include one I believe is called "I Was Too High to Say Hello." 

Closing out the evening was a rendition of Silver Jews' "Punks in the Beerlight," which was a giant audience favorite. Despite being woefully ignorant as to David Berman's music, it was the kind of show that's made me dive straight into the late artist's catalog, and can you truly ask for any more from a musical experience?

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