Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Video by Tim Reidy
It started out with an unaccompanied accordion introduction by Tamir Kalifa. A handful of other instruments gradually crept in, and then Matt Krolick uncorked a high-flying trumpet fanfare that heralded the proper kick-off of the song “Naked and Alive.” Up front, mandolinist Claire Puckett and bandleader/12-string guitarist Nick Gregg strummed hard and sang the chorus that included the lyric “We do what we want ’cause we look like we should.”
Indeed, the mega-talented indie-orchestral band Mother Falcon can do whatever they want. And the lush dance-pop of “Naked and Alive” – think ’80s bands like ABC or maybe Spandau Ballet, but with real strings rather than synthesizers – summed up only one facet of what they can do.
Making their Local 518 debut at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall before a small but enthusiastic crowd, the sprawling, 14-piece Austin-based collective was a seamless fusion of rock and classical music that defied definition. Terms like “chamber pop” or “symphonic rock” just don’t do them justice. They’re really in a league all their own.
Mother Falcon has teamed up with Kentucky-born singer-songwriter-cellist Ben Sollee for the Fall Migration Tour, pulling selections from both of their catalogs, and their joint Troy concert confounded whatever expectation you may have brought into the hall. There was no opening act, as Sollee the the Falcon folks played together for most of the two-hour performance, although each had their own spotlight numbers.