Parlor Hawk, L’anarchiste, Young & Old @ Velour 07.26

Posted July 31, 2013 in
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(L–R) TJ Nokleby and Andrew Clifford Capener of Parlor Hawk are capable of making a tow-truck-saddened writer a fan after just two songs, already garnering an attendee for their album release show on Sept. 14 at Velour. Photo: Blake Leszczynski

I learned two valuable lessons in my adventure to Provo's Velour on Friday night. The first, with Velour shows, the opening acts are often just as impressive as the headliner ... So, be there at 8, when doors open. The second: You can't just park wherever the fuck you want in Provo, even if it is a deserted bank well after business hours.

My wife, Margaret, and I rolled into downtown Provo at about 9:30, having just come from a beauty pageant—I mean a scholarship program—in Alpine (as a side note: this was the SECOND pageant that I had attended this month because I am a total tool). The parking situation, as you may have gathered, was a bit dicey, but I gobbled up a sliver of space on the street.  Margaret fretted about the fact that the very back of our car was intersecting with the slightest bit of red on the curb and convinced me to park elsewhere … the deserted bank. I saw the University Parking Enforcement sign, saw it with my own two eyes, but I thought, because it was Saturday night and there were a few other cars in the lot, no one would give our car a second thought. So, without a care in the world, we skipped toward Velour.
Inside the venue, it was muggy with a decent crowd for a July night, and L'anarchiste was already deep into their set, just starting their second-to-last song. This is one of those bands that makes you drop whatever else you're doing (in my case taking notes and pretending to be a music writer) and just watch in awe. The lead man, Mr. Rob LeCheminant, is one of the more appealing musicians I have ever witnessed. He pours everything into his craft, without being over the top. His soul is on display in his songs—his actions and everyone in attendance is all the better for that. L'anarchiste closed with "Iron," no doubt one of the best songs I have ever heard live. An absolutely breathtaking number that lays layer on top of layer until the harmonies and horns, the drums and strings create something akin to an orchestral crescendo. It's no wonder that these guys recently won City Weekly's Band of the Year, because they are the real deal. They will be releasing their first full length album, "Giant," produced by local legend Nate Pyfer (The Moth & the Flame, Polytype, Mideau) in September, and they will be back to Velour, headlining a show on Aug. 23. 
Next up was recent Velour Battle of the Bands victors Young & Old. The band that I gave the lowest score to that night, these guys have really grown on me, and Friday's performance was miles better than the one at the Battle about a month back. You CANNOT talk about Young & Old without mentioning John Hancock's incredible voice, one of the best around. So clear, so smooth, yet packing an incredible amount of emotion, he sounds a lot like Ray LaMontagne (I'm not kidding), especially in the song "Remember.” I went over Hancock's incredible voice in my article about the Battle quite a bit, and the component of Young & Old that I failed to mention the first time around, was guitarist Erik Maloy, who is something of a six-string savant. Dude isn't all that exciting to watch at first glance, as he hardly moves from his station just askew of Hancock's 6, but when you focus on him and look a little closer, you get to see a goddamn guitar wizard. His fingers absolutely fly across those strings—he simply has technical ability that few can approach. And his robotics become part of the spectacle—I mean he seemingly goes out of his way to not move from that spot. 
Full disclosure here: My wife finds a number of Parlor Hawk's members attractive. And for good reason, as they are pretty good looking guys. Also, a hell of a band … unfortunately, not one whose set I could watch to the end. In fact, I only got two songs in before I had to leave. It was a little before 11 when Parlor Hawk took the stage and it was close to the time we told my parents that we would be back to pick up our daughter. After the second song, Margaret decided to leave to go pick her up, and they would swing by and get me. Moments after she left, my phone rang. It was Margaret, "Our car is gone." Fuck. I bounced out of Velour and had to deal with the towing company to get my car back. Ninety minutes and $175 later, what was a great night of music had been deflated. Parlor Hawk has an album release show on Sept. 14 at Velour though … so I'll get them then. This next time, I'll just park on the street.
(L–R) TJ Nokleby and Andrew Clifford Capener of Parlor Hawk are capable of making a tow-truck-saddened writer a fan after just two songs, already garnering an attendee for their album release show on Sept. 14 at Velour. Photo: Blake Leszczynski