In the roughly six years that I have been seeing Great Lake Swimmers, their fan base and music has grown by leaps and bounds. Last night at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, the Toronto natives kicked off their North American tour with a very impressive show to say the least. The band is touring in support of their new album, New Wild Everywhere.
The set opened with the reverb drenched sounds of “Think That You Might Be Wrong.” Lead guitarist Erik Arnesen added some beautiful guitar textures to the song. However, it didn’t take the band long to turn it up a notch as “Changes in the Wind” and “New Wild Everywhere” energized the crowd. Both songs also showcased Miranda Mullholland’s beautiful voice and some very impressive violin chops.
About half way through the set, the rest of the band left the stage as Tony Dekker would play two early GLS cuts, “Moving Pictures, Silent Films ” and “I Saw You in the Wild” solo on acoustic guitar. His voice, while soothing is hauntingly beautiful and was on full display. After those two songs, Dekker started the intro to “On the Water” and the band slowly started to trickle on stage. The song featured multi-instrumentalist Joel Schwartz playing some incredible resonator guitar. I really felt the bands chemistry during this song and it was my highlight of the evening. “Cornflower Blue” followed up and saw Schwartz steal the spotlight with beautiful mandolin work.
The band closed the set with the first single from the new album, “Easy Come Easy Go.” Tony Dekker and Miranda Mullholland created wonderful vocal harmonies a long with some tenacious violin playing.
The two song encore began with a nice cover of Gram Parsons “A Song For You” from GP. The show closed with a raucous version of “I am Part of a Large Family” with the entire band letting it all out. Joel Schwartz shined once again with more impressive resonator guitar. Tony Dekker may have a gentle voice, but his music speaks loudly and if you get a chance to see Great Lake Swimmers this tour, please do as you’ll be glad you took the plunge.
Great Lake Swimmers
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Set: Think That You Might Be Wrong, The Great Exhale, The Knife, Changes with the Wind, New Wild Everywhere, Ballad of a Fisherman’s Wife, The Chorus in the Underground, Moving Pictures Silent Films&, I Saw you in the Wild&, On the Water, Your Rocky Spine, Fields of Progeny, Cornflower Blue, Everything Is Moving So Fast, Changing Colours, Pulling on a Line, Easy Come Easy Go
Encore: A Song for You^, I Am Part of a Large Family
Notes: & – Tony Dekker solo on guitar, ^ – Gram Parsons cover