Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Liam Finn w/ The Veils @ Bottom of the Hill

Last night after attending half of the San Jose Sharks' Teal & White Game, I moseyed on up to Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco to see the musically-gifted progeny of equally-gifted musician fathers - namely, Liam Finn (son of Neil Finn from Crowded House), and The Veils (whose frontman Finn Andrews, aside from the coincidence of having the same first name as Liam's last name, is the son of XTC's Barry Andrews). Both artists hail originally from New Zealand (technically, Liam Finn was born in Australia - minor detail).

San Franciscan singer-songwriter Dominant Legs (aka Ryan William Lynch) started the show just after 9:15 - his catchy, bittersweet acoustic songs were well-delivered with his endearing vocals. A shame most people talked over his brief set.

Afterwards, The Veils took the stage, and I immediately was smitten by bassist Sophia Burn... but that's a superficial detail. They opened with a new song, "Scarecrow," which was surprisingly mellow - they followed it with the more raucous "Calliope." Elsewhere in their set, they played their most well-known song, "Advice for Young Mothers to Be" (as heard on the show One Tree Hill). A highlight for me was their new song, "A Letter" - I'll be looking forward to their new album just based on that song alone.

Liam Finn then came on, playing mostly just with Eliza-Jane Barnes. Together, they looped guitar riffs and vocal stylings into sonic collages, completed with Finn's fiendishly energetic, propulsive drumming. One of the highlights of the evening - a cover of The Beatles' "Birthday" (it was Finn's 25th birthday, New Zealand time), done both faithfully and... differently.

All in all, great show put on by 3 great performers. Expect The Veils, in particular, to be the toast of the wider indie scene after their next album.

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