For many of us LarkFEST is the festival that marks the end of the summer in Albany, the last, proverbial opportunity to enjoy live music for free, a beer in hand. This year was a little different as the second iteration of PearlPalooza popped up only a week after its Lark Street drunken sibling. Despite the unfortunate timing, a great crowd assembled on Pearl Street where two stages—one for national acts, the other for locals—had been setup. The 2010 edition of this downtown street festival didn’t do much for me but I wasn’t going to miss Company of Thieves this year. Their performance at LarkFEST 2009 was a blast and their set at the now defunct Revolution Hall later in December sealed the deal for me. The band is the very definition of a live-act, they sound great on record but frontwoman Genevieve Schatz propels the act to a whole new dimension as soon as she jumps on stage. She is one graceful, engaging, and expressive pixie who captures your attention immediately. Read on to find out in the photos.
Click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed.
I could have just as well named this post “The many faces of Genevieve Schatz” but that wouldn’t be fair to the whole ensemble. The rest of the Chicago cast—Marc Walloch (guitar), Chris Faller (drums), Eitan Bernstein (keys) and Marcin Sulewski (bass)—measures up and delivered a very tight wall of sound. They seemed to thoroughly enjoy this gig on Pearl Street, had nice words to share about Albany, and recalled their experience at LarkFEST back in 2009 with fondness.
There were many other bands on the bill this year, MUTEMATH, DOM and Black Taxi to name a few, but I had only a short window of time that Saturday, sorry, that’s all you get for today. Photographer Brian Tromans shared with me that “MuteMath was just insane! They came through the crowd with drums and put on a show”. A quick thanks to concert photographer maven Julia Zave who handed me a press pass on premise, I owe you one. If the lineup improves yet again next year, PearlPalooza is bound to become a free event not to be missed, keep that rendez-vous in the back of your head. To be honest, it was actually much less the wall-to-wall inebriation that is LarkFEST.
For more info about Company of Thieves, check the touching and no-nonsense history of the band on Facebook, a tale of hard times, hopes, and ice-cream. Their second album by Schatz and Walloch, “Running from a Gamble”, is available now but give a chance to “Ordinary Riches” too, will you? A few tracks are available on SoundCloud, I’ve embedded a couple in this post. They have a Twitter too, if you are into the
One of their most well-known song, “Oscar Wilde”:
Above, Marc Walloch on the guitar.
I’m partial to “Pressure”, great buildup:
Above, most likely their biggest fan.
Here is “Queen of Hearts” from their latest album:
Below, Marcin Sulewski on the bass.
On their website: “We have been through 8 lineup changes and have NEVER stopped. We have NEVER cancelled a show – even when I had bronchitis and was in an out of the emergency room every other day on tour”. That is the truth, Schatz was visibly not doing so great off stage, sipping tea and clutching to a box of tissue, but she gave 110% as she always does.
I take my previous comment back, maybe their biggest fan is the young lady below.
“We have a fire in our hearts that is almost impossible to match”, they add on their website. Guys, you are welcome in the Capital District anytime.
A few shots from LarkFEST 2009:
Their performance at Revolution Hall in 2009: