Benefit Braddock event with Built to Spill and Atlas Sound – Friday, November 11, 2011.
I wasn’t sure what to expect on Friday evening, having only heard a few Atlas Sound songs and nothing by Built to Spill as of yet. I got seats in the second row of the library which was lucky on my part because it filled up fast. I didn’t anticipate how great the night was going to turn out. On stage walked Bradford Cox, the one-man act better known as Atlas Sound. I was familiar with his other band Deerhunter, though again not completely fluent in their music either. That night I learned a completely different version of stage presence.
Though Bradford seemed reserved at first, the performance that he put on was nothing short of mesmerizing, a word that kept playing over and over in my head while I watched and listened. With nothing more than a harmonica, guitar, and pedal board, the auditorium was bursting with ambient noise. The most riveting part of the whole thing was that you got to watch Bradford build his music, recording each piece separately as he went along and then layering it all to make a perfect compilation of sounds.
I could have listened to this all night but there was still one more band to see. Built to Spill, a five-member group established in the early 90s proved to have a greater following than I realized. There were many people around me who literally knew every word to the music, and kept yelling out requests in between songs. If I had to describe Built to Spill’s sound I would say it’s reminiscent of Pixies with a little bit of R.E.M. peppered in. Whether people agree with me or not is unknown but there was definitely a mellowness to it that is hard to find these days. All in all it was a great show that I’m sure left everyone satisfied.