February 23, Crofoot Ballroom
I first heard Breathe Owl Breathe last December. It was Noel Night, and the only thing my friend had picked out amongst the events (I was geeked out over the planetarium) was Breathe Owl Breathe at the Scarab Club. I had never heard of the band, but I'd always wanted an excuse to walk around in that building. Lucky for me, my friend wasn't one of the people who become insufferable when you say you haven't heard of a band. "You haven't heard of (band name)? How can you have possibly not heard of (band name)?". That shit gets old, doesn't it? The crowd they drew completely filled up the first floor of the Scarab Club. That kind of really tight packed in situation where you can smell at least 4 people at once. Ann Arbor was heavily represented that night, so that meant I was smelling a lot of patchouli. The band made a great impression on me, so I just had to go to The Crofoot on Wednesday for a chance to see them again.
Doors opened at 8, and the band must have started exactly at 9, because Breathe Owl Breathe was already going when got there at 9:05. What's with people being on time all of sudden? I'm not used to this. Breathe Owl Breathe were just as great as I remembered. They're able to take something as simple as the desire to swim, and turn that into a great song. Micah tends to look down at the floor with his eyes barely open, but yet he seems to really like interacting with the crowd. I'd say it's clearly a part of their regular performance. The only thing that I thought was missing was perhaps a song or two where Andrea sings lead.
If I had been told the Breathe Owl Breathe were the only band to perform that night, I wouldn't have complained a bit. To my surprise, they weren't even the headliner. They were touring with Yann Tiersen, a minimalist/avant-garde composer. He's French, but not the stuck-up kind, who knows English but pretends not to. Most of the music was instrumental, with Tiersen playing a violin. It wasn't aimless or wandering, as some instrumental music tends to be. His music always felt like it had a purpose, and that it was leading somewhere. Neither of the bands are the type that feel they have to crank everything up to 11 in order to compensate for something they lack. They leave enough room so that their crescendos have somewhere to go, and can really impact you.