Lost in the Trees – Danger Danger Gallery, Philadelphia
A bizarre and eclectic venue was chosen for last week’s Lost in the Trees concert in Philadelphia. The Danger! Danger! Gallery and Shop in West Philadelphia is by itself a trip, an adventure. Basically a word of mouth operation running on $5 to $10 donations that is moving to a new era of hosting important alternative bands. An old house with multiple rooms and stairs that run up and down, with graffiti on every wall, inaccessible doors, and almost no signs or directions will make the D!D!G another unique element of your concert experience. Intuition and the remote sounds of music will guide you to the right place, where a “dead horse” marks the spot of the concert, literally.
Last Thursday July 21, 2011 “Lost in the Trees”, the alternative folk orchestra from North Carolina played at the D!D!G despite the impressive heat (~103F) in Philly with basically no AC or windows.
Lost in the Trees’ music hurts, it aches and irremediably makes you reflect, think, feel but above all it makes you live the present. The moment the band started it all made sense. The venue was of no relevance at all and it was, after all, music what we all came to hear. A beautiful start, the band selecting “This Dead Bird is Beautiful” as their opening song, showcasing the beautiful voice of front-man Ari Picker and the amazingly powerful, almost angelical voice of Emma Nadeau. The band made great versions of their 2010 album including “Time Taunts Me”, “Song for The Painter” and “Fireplace”. The latter, in my opinion particularly depicts the potential greatness of this band. The soft and delicate tones of the multiple strings blend beautifully with the loud guitars and drums, Picker’s voice is loud and aching at the time this song is typically played live. Emma Nadeau’s chorus and percussions played by almost every member of the band make this song intense and powerful.
After this, the band stopped, unplugged their instruments and descended from the stage to mix around the few members of the audience for an intimate encore. The band chose “All Alone in an Empty House”, a song that evidently represents more to Picker than to anybody else. He swings back and forth, playing the initial chords that immediately have an effect on his voice that trembles, his eyes remain closed most of the song and his body shakes constantly. Picker cries “No one is perfect..” and he talks to all of us…
“Walk Around the Lake” was the last song the band played that night also in this private setting, a perfect ending to a long, hot but without a doubt exciting night.
Lost in the Trees is a great collection of simple, down to earth young musicians. It is clear that Picker and his band enjoy their music, showing up to every show with the intention of giving it all. The venue and audience last Thursday in Philly were certainly not ideal, but the band members presented themselves flawlessly. These young guys are not pursuing fame, money or recognition. They just make beautifully crafted and worth listening to music.
I leave a vid of fireplace live with the North Carolina School of Science and Math Orchestra (because us nerds are cool too!). Also a link to their entire concert last March in Washington DC, presented by NPR’s All Songs Considered.
Lost in the Trees Concert – NPR All Songs Considered