Earlier this month Buried Beds graced the stage at The Earl here in Atlanta while on tour promoting their recent release Tremble The Sails, which I recently reviewed here. I rarely make it to a show early enough to catch the opener, although after spending two weeks studying this album, I would have recommend arriving when the bartender unlocked the venue’s doors. I found myself constantly humming the indie-folk tracks at work and was anxious to see how the album translated to the live arena.
The band is recognized as a five piece, although their drummer, Thomas Bendel, fell ill and was unable to perform. This was a huge disappointment as it limited a good number of tracks from their repertoire. Out of the seven songs preformed, only three were from Tremble The Sails. Keyboardist and vocalist Eliza Jones stated that she felt odd playing “sweet slow songs” when they practice as an energy-infused rock band. I was able to sense that the band was apprehensive at the potential for giving a lackluster performance without Bendel, although the band was completely professional and played songs from earlier in their career that did not emphasize percussion.
Early on the crowd was strong for a Tuesday night. I was bewildered by the number of attendees for an opener, although it became apparent that the spectators were present for the headliner when the dull roar of conversation continued through the Buried Beds’s set. Despite this, when the quartet took the stage I was at full attention.
The set started slow and the absence of the elemental beat of Bendel’s drums was apparent. They played songs that had not been performed live in several years and at this point they were having a difficult time controlling the attention of the crowd.
Prior to the fifth song the band introduced the drummer of Murder By Death, Dagon Thogerson, who had volunteered to learn a few Buried Beds songs earlier in the day to help them through their predicament. The band went right into their single “Breadcrumb Trail” and it was like a completely different act was on stage. Their confidence was back and the conversations of spectators were halted.
The band finished with two of my favorite tracks off of Tremble The Sails, “Ivory Towers” and “Steady Hand.” This is when the show really started to move and the crowd’s dancing shoes got to tapping. I felt like the vibe was cut short as they were only able to play three of their more lively tracks, and as they began packing their instruments I only felt one emotion: unsatisfied. One must recognize that this unsatisfactory feeling came from a yearning to hear more and not from a butchered performance. This band has the potential to set the radio on fire and I highly anticipate their next tour. Until then, enjoy the band’s January 2011 performance of “Steady Hand” on 11 O’CLOCK ROCK!