By Judah Schulte
September 20, 2018
Despite being a sold-out show, the floor of The Imperial was only half covered with clusters of people shifting their weight from one foot to the other. But as Iji, a funky indie-rock five piece from Seattle, played, the venue filled. Iji jammed fun, playful pop songs with strong rhythm sections and thoughtful lyrics. Their easy-going sound was a welcome segway into the more serious headliners, like small talk leading into discourse.
After a spell of cheering, the audience went dead silent as the members of Big Thief appeared. Ice could be heard clinking in cups. The anticipation broke when Adrianne Lenker sang the opening lines to “Shark Smile”. The setlist alternated hits with the less radio-friendly songs. The band played with the sensitivity and precision one hears on the recordings, but each song was imbued with an added charge of intensity. Buck Meek gesticulated wildly and experimented with tuning as he played, like the mad guitar scientist that he is. Each note had an angular movement to accompany it, as if he was wrestling them into existence.
Finishing the night with a double encore, and ending with a Big Kitty cover. Adrianne and Buck shared a microphone, duetting the night to a sweet conclusion.The Imperial