The Love Language at The Grey Eagle

12 May
It’s rare that a Tuesday night show from a young band attracts a sizable and thoroughly excited crowd, but last night’s performance by Merge Records’ The Love Language saw many eager attendees warmly welcoming a wonderfully talented group for their first Asheville visit.The evening started with long-time locals On the Take  – I’m not normally a fan of overwritten, “witty” bios, but theirs is a lot of fun). With a set full of fun, hook-laden songs, On the Take set an excellent tone for the show to an unfortunately slim crowd. If you’ve got Superchunk, Guided By Voices or Weezer on your iPod, don’t miss this band’s next show.

The Love Language at The Grey Eagle

After a fairly lengthy turnover and a somewhat unorthodox (but very entertaining) introduction from Carolina music enthusiast/hypeman Jonathan Kirby, The Love Language finally got down to business. Before we get into the music, let me first mention that I don’t think anyone in this band is less than six feet tall, which is cool because consistency is important.

Fortunately, the band’s appeal isn’t limited to physical stature. From first notes, The Love Language was tight, energetic, engaging and thoroughly enjoyable. Combining the slinky, jangling pop of Nick Lowe, the garagey energy of The Strokes and Vampire Weekend, the atmospheric riffing of Cave-In, and touches of gospel melody and mountain harmony, this Raleigh unit delivered a dynamic set of well-crafted and well-executed songs that left everyone eager for a repeat performance.

While I don’t want to regale you with a note-for-note recap of their entire show, I do want to mention two particularly exciting aspects of the bands performance. First, everyone in The Love Language sings – and sings well. While the rare five-part harmony made few appearances in their set, those occasions when the audience was treated to a band-wide sing-along were just awesome.

Second, the guitars really stood out to me. Not to take anything away from the rest of the band, as they were all extremely talented, but the tasteful, clean and spacey riffing kind of took me by surprise, but had me hooked right away.

Finally, it should be said that the band’s excellent performance was only made better by the sound at the Grey Eagle. Seeing a show in a room that size with such powerful setup is a pretty rare indulgence.

As mentioned before, this was The Love Language’s first appearance in Asheville and I really hope it won’t be their last. Given the enthusiasm of last night’s attendees, I doubt it will be.

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One Response to “The Love Language at The Grey Eagle”

  1. Jonathan Kirby May 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    I’ve been called many things, but HYPEMAN is by far the most accurate…

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