It all sounded the same during an early Fiery Furnaces show at Southpaw, but I can’t say it wasn’t intended to, and not that any of it wasn’t good. Two sets of keyboards laid the foundation for the jams, and Eleanor Friedberger sang coolly with radiant eyes, whether the topic was a lost dog, husbands, or sons of bitches. Stories after stories her voice never faltered, while the cut of her face to the jerks of her movement all matched the aesthetic of the music. She cannot not be the face of the sound, an incarnation of a summer at least four decades old. Her brother Matthew warmed the stage with grinding keys, goofy smiles, forgotten lyrics and an ocassional cheer for Kyle Hollingsworth from String Cheese Incident who took on the second set of keys. While he and the drummer took a beer break backstage, Eleanor played drums while Mathew sang with missing lyrics. (Brooklyn Heathen)
This was my first Fiery Furnaces show. As you probably could have guessed when I bought the ticket for the show, I was there to see and support Kyle Hollingsworth. Nice to see him jump into the indie scene in such an exploratory way. The vibe was crazy, herky-jerky, willie-nillie, and a little okalee-dokalee. Not sure I'd see them again without KH though.