4/25/15 – Brighton Music Hall

Enter Matt Lorenz (The Suitcase Junket), head full of wild curls, with a neatly twisted and waxed mustache. Sporting a red and black pinstriped shirt and a polka dot tie, he gracefully sat down on his legendary suitcase and got right to playing. The rough and rowdy slide guitar immediately grabbed the attention of those who missed his silent approach to the microphone. Pausing, he introduced his creations, all of which fit neatly inside his suitcase/seat/kick drum.

When introducing the song “Broken,” Lorenz gave the disclaimer that his voice tonight was also broken and that he was losing it as he spoke. His withering, warbling voice beautifully amplified the pain and emotion in the lyrics. “Dauphine and Desire,” a pensive ballad about the city of New Orleans, also greatly benefited from his weary voice.

Lorenz ended his shortened set with a 91.9 WUMB favorite, “Wherever I Wake Up.” Frustratingly, those who arrived to the gig fashionably late felt that they didn’t have to withhold from speaking during his set. The rumble of their many voices became audible over Lorenz’, but the original crowd he captured fought back, belting each chorus at the top of their lungs.

It grew increasingly silent and tense as the audience waited with bated breath for main act Tall Heights to play their first note. With softly trembling fingers, the drummer held his stick over his drum pad; it was Eric Jones’ first ever show with Tall Heights, although Tim Harrington and Paul Wright—with a cello, acoustic guitar, and their voices alone—have already achieved national acclaim.

Jones produced colossal sounding drums that drove Harrington and Wright’s melodies zealously forward, then all of a sudden the drums vanished, highlighting wistful harmony. Jones often dialed it back to paint the scene with subtle cues, inspiring images of abandoned mills and long dark streets. He provided a dreamy foundation on which Harrington’s guitar danced and Wright’s cello blossomed. Liz Vaughn, another new addition, sprinkled in keys and light vocals, enriching the sound just as a world-class chef would carefully season a dish.

Wright prefaced a new track, “Spirit Cold,” by explaining, “This song is about being awake and aware… which is really hard to do… so good luck.” Smiles flashed radiantly, fingers leapt, and time stretched as down tempo valleys rose to peaks of perfection. Harrington and Wright stared at each other with fiery intensity but exuded peace and calmness. Mindfulness, or “being awake,” may be “really hard to do,” but they seemed to have been practicing diligently. It was a powerful end to an invigorating evening.

Check out the new track below:

Awake: Tall Heights
  • First show with new members
  • Homecoming
  • First peformance of unreleased material
  • Suitcase Junket's shortened set due to cold
  • Drums too loud at first
8.9Wide Awake

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