7/14/14 – Brighton Music Hall

With the flickering of the stage lights and a buzz of ambient synth sounds, the five members of The Paper Kites quietly slipped onto Brighton Music Hall’s stage. The cliques of girls that were sitting on the floor between sets quickly rose to their feet, welcoming this Australian act with high pitched cheers.

The laid-back feel of tracks like St. Clarity and Tenenbaum paired well with our rainy start to the week. The new sound of the act – their latest release strays from the indie folk that pushed them to popularity – was especially evident when hazy synths and strange Darth Vader-like sound effects filled the stage.

Mumbled words made for sub-par filler between songs. At one point, lead singer Sam Bentley called on keyboardist and vocalist Christina Lacy to say something — but she couldn’t muster up a thought: “Yeah I feel really shy now.” Though the crowd battled this awkwardness with cheers and clapping, the performance was emotionless at times, and the band seemed a bit distant. Banter didn’t seem their strong point, and Bentley joked about having to carry the band through the breaks in the set. Luckily, for the majority of the show the band smartly chose smooth transitions over unsung words. From Bentley gently bobbing his head, adding playful finger picking before breaking into hit song “Bloom,” to Christina’s fingers sliding over the keys as synths swelled into Woodland.

As the band ducked back into the Green Room, a number of audience members unwittingly scurried out before the one-track encore, which was greeted with an “ohh” from a pleasantly surprised woman. As the group dove into an older track, “Paint,” a smatter of Snapchat stories ensued.

Rainy Monday Blues: The Paper Kites
  • Mix of genres and styles
  • Balance of old and new material
  • Smooth transitions
  • Not much audience interaction
  • Lacked enthusiasm
7Overall Score

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