The Scene: The Bluebird had visitors from the relaxed north and the sizzling south when Bahamas and Calexico came to the crown jewel of the west last week. The sold-out show drew folks who came to get “Lost In The Light” by soaking up the sweetly simple sounds of opener Bahamas, and those who came to pound “Corona” and get rude and rambunctious in the process. It was an interesting mix of two worlds that did not overlap, but definitely collided on account of the crowded room.
Bahamas: Bahamas hail from Canada, so it’s not surprising that some of their music makes you want to live slow and cuddle in front of a fire. Two female vocalists, a strong jawed singer/songwriter on electric guitar and a pensive man behind a drum kit may not fill up a stage, but the sounds they create sure fill up a room. Sadly, the room filled by their sonic goodness was also filled with hundreds of chatting people, but “Never Again” shut them right up. Dead silent most of the set, except for the screams and claps in between songs, the Bahamas fans came to bask in harmonic beauty, and I probably looked like a deer in headlights as they found their way into “Lost in The Light.” I will never tire of the song that drew me to this band, nor the soulfulness they bring in such a subtle fashion.
Calexico: From mellow to mahem, once Tucson based Calexico took the stage, the Bluebird turned into a raucous border town. The dark and mysterious “Para” showed the “indie-noir” side of the band, while “Corona” shook up the crowd till they exploded. Calexico blends Mariachi, Texas twang and dark Indie Rock into a gazpacho of songs that draws a uniquely diverse fan base.
“Sinner In The Sea” rolled into shore during the encore, and that was when I finally started to pick up what Calexico was putting down. The dark and dramatic Indie side of the band usually isn’t my cup of tea, and it just didn’t really grab me, but the south of the border swing totally roped me in. At first the combination of genres didn’t sit well with me, like a bad burrito if you will, but things settled after a couple of beers.
Stage Presence: A-
Set/Light Show: B