the finches [2009]

Cafe du Nord
San Francisco, CA
24 April 2009

Note to Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs: work on the banter. Starting off the set with tales of your recent LA transplantation and subsequent celebrity sightings (and then breaking off on a tangent about Miley Cyrus / Punky Brewster comparisons) – not so winning (especially in Northern California).

And then, before they started into the first song, Riggs announced (seemingly warned) that tonight’s lineup had never actually performed together.

Unfortunately, this was fairly evident.

And yet, it wasn’t so much the lack of cohesiveness that stuck out, but rather Riggs’ penchant for missing the high (and often times middle) notes. Sadly, she wasn’t alone in that category, but perhaps that was the consistency they ultimately achieved: singing together in off-key harmony.

There were certainly some high points. On a few songs, the band came together quite nicely, especially the last two: “Daniel’s Song” and “Last Favor”.

Maybe it’s the new and inexperienced lineup. Maybe they’re just a studio band (I really enjoy their recordings). But something was missing tonight (and it wasn’t just a tuning fork).