Fiery Furnaces @ Hiro Ballroom, November 3, 2007

iery furnaces at Hiro Ballroom, November 4, 2007
Category: Music Saturday night, Hiro Ballroom: The Fiery Furnaces played the last show on their U.S. tour promoting Widow City, their latest album.

Unfortunately, they weren’t at their best. Without percussionist extraordinaire Michael Goodman in the onstage mix, their intricate lyrics lost some of their off-rhythm pacing, odd accents, and surprising phrasing. It’s hard to describe, but Goodman’s fantastic percussion kit and skill with offbeat beats added the perfect note of musical strangeness to Widow City’s undeniably odd, Brechtian story lyrics.

Matt seemed to be in a rather awful mood, specifically cuz the sound kinda sucked at points. After 60 minutes, Eleanor started taking requests, handing Matt a folded piece of paper from an audience member. Which didn’t please Matt much; he handed her back the opening bars of a song to which she clearly did not know the words.

Still, by concert’s end all seemed quiet on the sibling front. And on the audience front as well; as we left, I heard the same comment at least twice: “They were interesting, but then I got bored. . . .”

Hope they get Michael back; the Fierys are not a boring band. But this one was, alas, a rather – uncharacteristically – dull show.


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