Supporting both as the opening and backing band, The Dead Trees brings certain moments of classic rock discovery back to life. The ones when you truly discover the bands of old through wasting time in their poster-covered rooms as their vinyl collections are just picking up steam. It shows too with their bassist clad in '70s; the glasses, the hair, the timeless mustache. With the folksy, root choruses with harmonies that bring to mind the road-worn Wilburys, The Dead Trees perfectly complemented the near summer evening of filled patios and glowing streetlights.
While the lead singer Michael's voice shares the texture of Noah and the Whale's Charlie Fink, it is Adam Green who possess the vocal depth. Concocting short bursts of astute tales of loss and love, Green's emotion is housed within his unparalleled live delivery. While most song celebrated the recent release of Minor Love, as with opener "Breaking Locks" and "Give Them A Token" his remarkably playful "I'll perform what I want" playlist was strewn throughout the jocular, tongue-in-cheek catalog. Adam Green & the Dead Trees jostled and jolted on stage, taking brief breathers as they smoothly rattled off the intelligent ditties. The longest of which halfway through when the supporting band left the stage, leaving Adam exposed to the enraptured, warmed up crowd to an island of an acoustic session.
Adam Green, despite his stated shyness, has a untaught grace on stage with an uncanny ability to feel the crowd. From carefree dancing to punching mic motions as on "Buddy Bradley" and "What Makes Him Act So Bad", his energy runs contradictory to that soothing, pensive voice on the recordings. His performance enlivens the songs akin to reading a play and attending the performance just don't quite match the intensity. For a case in point, while a stage diver couldn't find support at a recent hip-hop show, the audience guided Adam in a collective elation as he pulled out the accelerated numbers such as "Morning After Midnight". The aspiring power ballad, "Jessica," closed the main set with as the modern lorn and nostalgic crooner exited stage center through the crowd for the first of two times that evening.
As an encore, the New Yorker's final moments on the corner of Southport and Belmont tapped a mini-cluster including "Bleeding Heart" and the newer "Buddy Bradley" before closing the curtain with "Tropical Island." Likewise, the night lent itself to the minor moments the inattentive would have missed. Adam Green is just that, subtle and shy but passionate under the gels. While Adam's songs seem simplistic, the ones who pay closest attention are those most rewarded by the charm and intelligence within. Thursday night, as with the majority dancing and bobbing, this New Yorker captured the North Side.Click here for the complete photo set