Other Lives Take Music Hall of Williamsburg on a TripJune 1st, 2015
Other Lives – Music Hall of Williamsburg – May 29, 2015
The fans waiting for Other Lives to take the Music Hall of Williamsburg stage on Friday night first had to wait out a vibrating, otherworldly theme that shook the whole venue. It sounded as if the room were a rocket that was bringing the few hundred patrons past the stratosphere and into space. Truthfully, it was the sound that signaled the start of a two-night run in New York City in support of the band’s newest album, Rituals.
Other Lives have grown their sound from mere electrified folk to something truly intricate in its structure. No song that begins with acoustic guitar simply ends with acoustic guitar. In fact, most of the set featured this style. More traditional sounds like the deep, booming drums at the start of “Reconfiguration,” for example, were eventually met with New Age synths. The beginning of “For 12,” an older track, sounded like it would be right at home in a moody Western before it gained some Radiohead blips and strings.
Other Lives’ expansive sound isn’t just made of computerized filler, though. Two, three and even four band members often sang, and—when he wasn’t playing glockenspiel, piano or trumpet—Jonathon Mooney spent much time dueling with another violinist. Somehow, through all of this, the group’s sound still came across as simple. Singer Jesse Tabish always got the right mood of a lyric across, leaving those in the crowd feeling like a song took them from one place to another. The whole night, on both the biggest and smallest scales, was a trip. —Sean O’Kane | @Sokane1