Last Night: Owen Pallett at Fingerprints Records

The Hype: Making his only stop in the Southern California area before hitting a few festivals in Europe, Owen Pallett stopped by Fingerprints Records to pull back the curtain on his sweeping violin magic enhanced by some pedal-looping wizardry. Owen was a busy fellow on this particular day as he had previously recorded a live session on KCRW 89.9  before heading down to Long Beach.


The Show: When rhetorically asked by an audience member “Why
are you so talented?”, Pallett laughed it off saying he was too busy
working to believe in talent. While that is true — Pallett is
extremely talented — it is also true that Pallett is always busy
working. That Pallett even
found time to record his latest album, Heartland is amazing considering how in-demand he is. The fact that
it was his second performance of the day is another testament to
Pallett's work ethic.
Delicately plucking the
strings on his violin, Pallett slayed the audience early with “That's
When The Audience Died.” (Watch it here.) Pallett was shoeless on stage, shuffling his
feet from pedal to pedal and turning the knobs with his toes. The
frantic circus keyboards of “The Great Elsewhere” viciously looped in
circles, as Pallett tapped the body of his violin and plucked the
strings adding more dimensions of sound. It was jaw-dropping to see all
these sounds created on the fly  syncing up seamlessly.
shards of guitar notes gave way to more soaring violin during “Lewis
Takes Action”. Exclaiming he hadn't figured out the reverse function on
his looping pedal, Pallett emulated some backwards sounding violins as
he dove into “The Dream of Win & Regine.” Asking for requests from
the audience, a fan's prayers were answered when he performed “Hey Dad.”
switching back to keyboards, Pallett tackled “Oh Heartland, Up Yours!”
emphatically singing “I will not sing your praises!” Another request
from the audience was granted with the sharp violin slices of “The
Butcher.” After a brief discussion regarding composer Arthur Russell,
“Lewis Takes Off His Shirt” capped a stunning forty minute set. I was
tempted to stick around for the poster signing, but continued my Canadian
quest with an epic set from Broken Social Scene at the Music Box. 
 I wouldn't be surprised if the crowd was full of violin
players and aspiring composers. Most of the audience was extremely
familiar with Pallett's work as I spotted a number of people singing
Overheard: Owen Pallett will be
returning for a full show in September. I strongly suspect he will be
back with Arcade Fire. Just a hunch though. 

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