Live (Stream): Sirsy for Cash for Coats, 10/15/2020

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On an absolutely beautiful autumn Thursday, Sirsy and Albany Events provided a great reason to come inside, at least for an hour.  The local duo livestreamed a nine song set in support of the City of Albany’s Cash for Coats series, helping put winter coats on the backs of kids who will very soon need them.  It was an altogether winning combination.

Sirsy

It’s hard to believe the husband and wife duo have been at it for twenty years now, but it pays off in every performance.  For the uninitiated, Sirsy consists of Melanie Krahmer (vocals, drums, keyboards, flute) and husband Richard Libutti (guitar).  They cover bass between them, with either Melanie hitting a keyboard or Rich covering it with his impressive pedal setup.  For this particular performance, Rich was also controlling camera effects as well.  I have no idea how they manage all that and still keep their set tight. But they do.

Streaming from their basement, they quickly settled into a good rapport with their virtual audience and with each other.  This is exceedingly difficult to do with no visceral audience feedback.  Kicking things off with “Like a Drum” (the title track from last year’s EP), both the sound and the visuals were clean and engaging.  Many livestreams (while well intentioned) are a little rough.  That was not the case here.  The only minor distraction was the slight lag between the video and audio, and that was only because Melanie’s drumming is so front and center.

The setlist showcased their excellent songwriting chops – from quieter, piano driven numbers like “Gold” to rockers like “Cannonball”.  The vocals were equally strong, perhaps never more than on 2013’s “The Cost of You”.  Rich’s guitarwork was understated and nearly perfect in every song…the itchy lines in “Fireflies” dug their way right in.  Perhaps the high point of the entire set also happened to be their newest song, “Astronauts”.  Released earlier this month, Melanie’s somewhat plaintive vocals make it an immediately catchy winner.  And they obviously have a ball performing it.

Sirsy always comes across as reliably upbeat, in their own geek-aesthetic kind of way.  And, for me, that’s the perfect antidote for these troubling Covid times.  They do a livestream every Saturday night at 8:00 – if you haven’t seen them, you should.  Meanwhile, the Cash for Coats series continues every Thursdays at 6:00, with a different band each week.  Please support this cause if you are able.

Setlist:

  • Like a Drum
  • Revolution
  • Astronauts
  • Gold
  • Fireflies
  • Cannonball
  • The Cost of You
  • Death of Me
  • Brave and Kind

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