Smile Politely

Courtyard Cafe vs. Mother Nature

Fans of live music are a resilient breed. It takes a strong will and a stiff-arm to battle crowds and see a favorite show. Mother Nature tried her best to keep last night’s show at the Courtyard Café from happening, but skinned knees and hurricanes couldn’t stop the musical forces of World’s First Flying Machine, Nurses, Throw Me The Statue and The Brunettes.

World’s First Flying Machine reunited for an enthusiastic, playful set. The combination of Ben Campbell’s strong pipes and an array of percussion took the crowd from the early workings of a torrential downpour and transported them to a musical carnival. The band seemed high off the nearing finish of their forthcoming debut album called, The House You’re Living In. Everyone danced and scooted their way through “Plane Crash,” and the band closed with a tune aptly titled “Ferris Wheel”.

Nurses was up next and surprisingly enchanting — enchanting in the same way the shadows stretch at night. The combination of floating harmonies and a seemingly simple set up created more noise than one would expect from the Portland trio. Their voices were not the only source of appreciation, they had a rare complex mastery of their songs. At the end of their set the crowd was begging for more, and many rushed over to purchase their new album Apple’s Acre, released August 4 on Dead Oceans.

At this point in the night rain was coming down in sheets and thunder shook the lights, but keyboardist Aaron Goldman for Throw Me The Statue simply took out his makeshift glockenspiel mallet pouch (a sock), and they took over. Throw Me The Statue also released a new album on August 4 titled Creaturesque on Secretly Canadian.

Last night’s show was one of the first for a month long tour between the band and The Brunettes, and their energy levels were fresh and contagious. Scott Reitherman’s smooth moves slid through each of their new songs, including new electronic beats mixed with their instrumentation.

The Brunettes hit the stage last and took off running. Although they only played four songs, they managed to get everyone clapping and giggling like school children before the end of their first song. Heather Mansfield showed off her sassy New Zealand colors by winking and flirting with the crowd. The group as a whole was a quirky mix of fun music and attention to detail. Mansfield was dressed to a T as a cross between a go-go dancer and a sailor, Jonathan Bree wore a sheriff badge on his guitar strap, and their keyboardist kept her triangle on a pink pearl necklace around her neck for easy access.

In the end Mother Nature won out, as she always does. Though the show started late and ended early, it was truly worth weathering the storm. And so begins a fantastic fall music lineup worth every soggy sock and trench foot.

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