Polvo at the Cat's Cradle - 5/10/2008

With Des Ark & Noncanon
The Cat's Cradle


I'm a huge Polvo fan. HUGE. One of my favorite bands of all time...and when I found out they were reuniting, I nearly soiled myself. At first the only show mentioned was a reunion gig at the Explosions in the Sky curated ATP festival in England. And even though I'm broke as a joke and unemployed on top of it, I contemplated going into debt to fly over and see this show. It may have also led to divorce, but so be it.

But then they announced a few shows here in the states, including one in their hometown of Chapel Hill. I was moving back to the area and boy howdy was I excited. Of course the show sold out of tickets quickly - they are local heroes after all - and this just happened to coincide with my cross country drive, when my mind was more focused on national parks than live music. I was feeling pretty fucked about my lack of ticket, but luckily my old friend Craigslist came to the rescue and I managed to procure entrance for only 250% of the face value (that being 10 bucks). This show was easily worth 25 bucks though...shit, it was worth 200 bucks, which is how much the guy next to me at the show paid. Judging from his reaction to their set, he wasn't pining for that money back.

Without going into all the details, let's just say: the show fuckin' ruled. Other than not getting to hear every song I wanted to, the gig fully met all my expectations and then some. So much so that even though I was really far from the band I took a couple of photos anyways, just to commemorate the event.
The band was much tighter than I would have expected after coming off of a ten year hiatus. And much heavier than they once were. This may be a matter of maturation, of years passed, or because they added the drummer from Cherry Valence, Brian Quast, to the line-up. It kinda felt like all the classic Polvo tracks were being run through a Thin Lizzy filter, not that I was complaining. I've never been much to remember song names or track lists, but they did a good job of hitting a lot of the highlights on nearly all of their albums and EPs...some stand outs included "Fast Canoe", "Feather of Forgiveness", "My Kimono", "Bombs That Fall from Your Eyes" and most importantly, my favorite Polvo song of all time,"Tragic Carpet Ride".

As my first show back here in "god's country", I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. Word is Polvo have even been writing some new material, so who knows where this reformation goes...keep your fingers crossed for some new releases by the one of the best and most underrated bands of the last 25 years.

On a side note: both of the opening acts were pretty good. Noncanon had a very poppy indie rock sound brewing, a sound that is easily identifiable as the "Chapel Hill sound" that we all know and love. A couple of superb tracks in their set and the rest was decent...I'll definitely keep my eyes and ears open to catch them again. Des Ark had their moments as well, but thinking back on it right now it's the drumming that really stands out, but I feel like the singer said it was their last show together? I may have misunderstood that, but either way, that drummer straight killed it live.