Coffeehouse concert: Big Tree
Big Tree returned to the Hill for a powerhouse performance in the Coffeehouse.
- The Record Connection continues musical legacy
- Roshambo rocks Blue Light Pub
- Jazz Band plays dynamic concert
On Friday Oct. 12, students mingled and enjoyed tea and cookies before welcoming back Indie/Pop/Psychedelic band, Big Tree, to the Mary Low Coffeehouse. In the small, dimly lit venue that smelled of tea, the five-piece ensemble established a night of heartfelt, soulful songs that were rooted in strong lead vocals accompanied by a keyboard, ambient reverb texture and a melody-copying xylophone, all of which characterized the rest of Big Tree’s spirited singing performance.
The small sea of listeners responded to Big Tree’s indie grooves with light head-dips, which escalated to head-boppings and later amounted to full body-swayings. By quarter of 10, the Coffeehouse was packed, and by the end of the night some individual moshing, or, at least, titillated dancing, was wavering through the Coffeehouse.
Lead singer and keyboardist Kaila McIntyre-Bader oscillated between passionate, demanding singing cries and jazzy, leaping, zealous vocals which showed off her skills in a style similar to the vocal texture of female vocalists Regina Spektor and Nellie McKay. McIntrye-Bader’s lyrics revolved around tender accounts of love, dreams, life and motion, which she earnestly crooned over in simple but poetic reveries. Often, the other musicians would all sing along and join McIntyre-Bade in unison, and sometimes, four-part harmony, spawning the merry, hipster-honey campfire vibe that humbly beguiled the audience.
Big Tree is currently on tour for their second-album installation, “The New Year,” and performed a number of new songs from the latest album.
Many in the audience were long-time Big Tree fans, and by the second half of the concert it seemed people recognized more and more songs.
While their selections lived up to the audience’s expectations, Big Tree frequently displayed a pattern of emotional musical climax. This motif began with a crescendo to a meaningful bridge spearheaded by McIntyr-Bader’s soulful bellows.
Supporting vocalist Madeleine Miller-Bottome sang along in either harmony or unison and sometimes joined in on the tambourine. Drummer Colin Fahrner repeated fast drum rolls leading to some cathartic downbeat, while guitarist Danny Pirello worked through riffs as he managed the looping and synth-sound devices. In these dizzying moments, which at sometimes seemed forced, Big Tree showed their true aspirations of conveying a sense of passion and simultaneously displayed their desire to be placed in a more serious, intellectual category of their music scene. Nonetheless, it was at these moments when many students appeared entranced.
All in all, Big Tree’s concert was intense yet cozy. The warm welcoming of tea and cookies was a telling start for the night of honesty, reverie and soul. In the beginning, Bassist Luke Bace verbally appreciated the refreshments, nodding his head as he chimed, “[Those were] some damn good macaroons.” This amusing, endearing banter bounced back between the audience and Big Tree through the course of the night.
In fact, the dialogue was so intimate that after they finished their last song, a chant of “One more song!” lasted only three rounds before McIntyr-Bader smiled, shrugged and said without a mic—“OK!”