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Friday, August 29, 2008 

I could write infinite

So on Wednesday I went to what was ostensibly a Final Fantasy show (and Pallett was certainly great - for someone I'd never listened to before aside from his amazing live cover of "The Power of Love," he sure kept me captivated), but the real draw for me (and the way I got in) was the 802 tour and my first chance to see Sam Amidon live. As good as Final Fantasy was, the comglomerated Samamidon/Doveman/Nico Muhly show (they just play one big set, moving from one act's songs to another) was just that much better, a riveting change of pace from the rock shows that I tend to go to.

And not just because, when Nico took centre stage, suddenly you were at a recital (his solo piece "Skip Town" and the pretty awesome showcase for viola player Nadia Sirota "Keep in Touch" were incredible); something about the interplay of those three guys and the diverse beauty of their various styles just knocked my goddamn socks off. The highlight was probably the set-ending rendition of all three parts of "The Only Tune" from Nico's album featuring Sam reciting, wailing and singing an old folk tune. I got shivers. Thomas(/Doveman)'s extraordinarily gorgeous rendition of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" was probably a close second. They're not playing with Final Fantasy for the whole tour, and in fact I think they're done the tour now, but if they weren't I would urge you in the strongest possible terms to check it out.

Talking to Sam after the show, he kept being approached by kids wanting autographs and pleading with him to come up to Canada for a proper solo show (which, as someone who hopefully helped get his fantastic new album All Is Well some exposure, was rightly or wrongly immensely gratifying); I was one of them, of course, I just happened to be interviewing him as well. He tells me that Stars Like Fleas are coming to Canada soon, although he won't be with them; there's another show you miss only at your own peril.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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