–plus rare cover
The Hype: After acquiring a new record label and a few new band mates, the Appleseed Cast went on tour last year to promote their seventh album, Sagarmatha. Now the band is touring again, but this time they're playing both volumes of Low Level Owl, their landmark 2001 album. How exactly the Appleseed Cast would recreate their double record–heavily engineered with ambient sound, enveloping synthesizers, and multilayered guitar–remained to be seen. Whether or not recent addition John Momberg could measure up to previous drummer Josh Baruth, whose playing shined on the studio recordings of Low Level Owl, would be crucial.
The Show: Though normally a quartet, the Appleseed Cast were joined by a keyboard player when they started their set at the Glass House. On “The Waking of Pertelotte,” the keyboardist created a layer of ambient music while frontman Christopher Crisci and guitarist Aaron Pillar chimed in with soft guitar plucking. When the instrumental segued into “On Reflection,” Crisci opted not to start singing until toward the end of the song. “That outstretched hand you had to shake,” he intoned, almost shouting, “will sell you out.” The singer's voice, alternating between furious shouts and gentle whispers, has always been a key component of the Appleseed Cast's sound, forceful yet often subdued by the music.