Every so often I have the pleasure of visiting the little town called Denton, Texas. It is home to two great vinyl destinations (Mad World Records & Recycled Books) and home to the amazing and vastly underrated band Midlake. After being a fan of them for years now, I had yet to see them in concert. Last week (it’s already been over a week!) I finally got to see them in person. With the exit of their lead singer Tim Smith last year, I did not get to see their original line-up, but what I got to see was something like a rebirth. The energy of the room was full of excitement and anticipation the whole evening. Before you go any further, hit play. and repeat.
With one fewer member Midlake has new-found freedom and along with that, a forthcoming album Antiphon. They have experienced a musical renaissance and are stronger than ever–as a whole. It was amazing to see their expert musicianship in person. All the intricate layers of care they put into each song is often flattened and lost through digital compressions of today’s recording methods. There really is nothing like live music, but that’s another post for another day… Back to the concert: Every single person* of the six-piece band, played an instrument at all times (*could someone help me out on names/roles of band members?). It is refreshing to experience a group of people so incredibly passionate about their craft. And Midlake is sharing it despite a trying past year, read about it here. I thought the stage lighting matching the psychedelic blue and red tinted publicity photos was a really nice touch that really added to the atmosphere of the concert.
Antiphon is the most honest representation of the band as a whole, as opposed to one person’s vision that we were trying to facilitate. ~Eric Pulido, lead singer Midlake
Part of Midlake’s strength comes from guitarist and now lead singer Eric Pulido. His strong leading voice blends seamlessly (whereas former lead singer Tim Smith’s vocals proved somewhat timid and frail). Despite a “new” singer, the ever-present harmonies that make us love Midlake so much remain. Pulido describes the new direction of Midlake perfectly, “Antiphon is the most honest representation of the band as a whole, as opposed to one person’s vision that we were trying to facilitate.” The unity and excitement of the band were complemented by the good vibes all around the room that night at Dan’s Silverleaf. Hearty cheers were had when they announced a song from Bamnan and Slivercork, much to the band’s surprise as that album came out almost ten years ago. Near the end of their set, Pulido took the time to thank the crowd for showing love and enthusiasm after three years of silence. The crowd’s response was more unconditional love and cheers. You could tell Midlake was home.
Midlake’s new album Antiphon, due November 5, is available for pre-order on vinyl with a free digital download. Be sure to catch them in the states while you can because they will be in touring Europe indefinitely in 2014! However, Midlake will be in OKC next month with Pearl Jam at the Chesapeake Arena.
What do you think of “new” Midlake? Tell us below!
- Music News | Midlake announce new album (thejournalist.ie)
- Scenes from Night One of Midlake’s Two-Night Homecoming Stand (centraltrack.com)