LIVE: Snowapple / Fish & Bird @ Caffe Lena, 3/13/15
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Though the Snowapple concert was on Caffe Lena’s calendar for weeks prior to their Friday night show, no advanced tickets had been sold as late as Wednesday. Sarah Craig, the Caffe’s manager was worried. A while back she had discovered the amazing, three-part harmonies of the female Dutch trio and signed them on to appear at Lena’s. And she had excitedly whispered in the ears of several dozen Caffe regulars that this was the one not to miss. Yet here it was two days before the show, and no advanced tickets had been sold.
Craig spring into action and boldly reached out to the press, patrons and the public to generate interest. She knew that this was too good a show to cancel; it had to go on, and people had to know about it.
The trio played within the folk-acoustic idiom, but they also embraced their European musical traditions, as well as a heap of influences from American folk and contemporary pop music. Their layered and powerful three-part vocal harmonies coupled to their instrumental prowess put them squarely in the company of the Wailin’ Jennys, Red Molly and the Boxcar Lilies – same stylistic approach, but with a decisive twist in their repertoire choices. It’s a unique and fun experience to hear – for example, a Kanye West song done up in a singer-songwriter folk arrangement, albeit with three voices, keyboards, acoustic mandolin and guitar.
As Friday rolled around on the calendar, the ticket sales started trickling in, and Craig breathed a sigh of relief. By early afternoon the concert was completely sold out. In no time at all the evening’s opener, the three-piece Fish & Bird from Canada, were set up and ready to go. From the time the doors opened, the Caffe was hopping. The lights dimmed, and audience was ready for a great night of music and song.
And in the end, both bands earned well-deserved standing ovations…