For their first Cleveland performance, Vetiver played to a crowd of about 75 people at the Grog Shop. While the collective of musicians led by Andy Cabic is touring in support of their Sub Pop debut, Tight Knit, they performed favorites from each of their four albums. Known as early leaders in the folk revival, the concert showcased their more recent interest in upbeat, driven rock. Just as their career has progressed, starting with the delicate 2004 self-titled release, showing signs of breaking out into heavy ruckus on 2006’s To Find Me Gone before revealing a fondness for Southern- and Western-influenced rock on last year’s cover album, Thing of the Past, this performance grew from quiet “Oh Papa” to the soothing “Maureen” then the poppy “Everyday.”
After a day off, Vetiver seemed happy to be playing once again. Their extended set showcased their ability to expand upon album versions without turning into jams. Longtime members Otto Hauser (drums) and Kevin Barker (guitar) were accompanied by new faces on bass and keys. Nevertheless, the show was, well, tight knit. Treats such as “Blue Driver” and “Won’t Be Me” highlighted the night and Vetiver’s talent for existing in a musical space all their own: one that borrows, but doesn’t follow trends; one that is impeccably hi-fi in an indie world interested in the lo-fi.
Encores are always awkward when there is no hidden offstage for the band to leave the crowd guessing. Andy and the others stood for a bit before obliging and making the crowd happy and leaving them satisfied.
Photo Credit: Jarred Wagner