I don't think it's any secret that I personally lost interest in reviewing live shows a long time ago, so I'm not really sure why I accepted a last minute invitation from a publicist to cover Monday night's El Perro del Mar show at Lincoln Hall. A couple of songs from the latest El Perro album really struck me, so I guess my musical curiosities got the best of me despite the fact that I really had no interest to formally "cover" the show. However, I'm glad that I did because the show was actually inspiring enough to put me back into my blogging chair and make me want to share my excitement for this live experience.
Sarah Assbring, the woman behind the El Perro moniker, is a refreshingly engaging live presence who appeared to pour her entire heart and soul into every last song. I was completely mesmerized by her haunting vocals and David Byrne-meets-Michael Stipe dance moves behind the mic stand. She was at one with each of her songs and it was impossible not to get sucked in and feel the intense emotions conveyed in her music right along with her.
Well, maybe I shouldn't say impossible...
There were definitely some devoted fans who were moving along with her every last note, but this wasn't the case for the crowd overall. The power that I felt onstage from Assbring and her amazing backing band somehow was not translating to energy throughout the hallows of the Hall. I ended up feeling kind of embarrassed that I was apart of this local crowd that was so staid amidst such a stirring set of music. Nevertheless, it didn't seem to phase Assbring, who maintained her intensity throughout the show. Here's hoping her next Chicago visit brings her a much larger and fervent crowd who able to return at least a fraction of the intensity that she delivers.
(also in the archives: El Perro Del Mar @ Lakeshore Theater 3/6/07)