My main reason for going to Schubas tonight was the chance to see Devin Davis with a full band. As I’ve mentioned before, Davis’ record, Lonely People of the World, Unite!, was one of my favorites in 2005. I saw him at the Hideout in February, but I missed the shows he did with his band and caught a solo night — which was interesting, but not quite the same thing as hearing the songs in the full-band glory.
Davis sounded good tonight, backed by pedal steel guitar, drums, bass and keyboard/sax. The songs were a little less polished sounding than the studio versions, but they still sounded pretty darn strong — and I like the new songs he played. He closed with “Born to Run,” which was shown on the set list simply as “THE BOSS.” After the show, Devin told me he’d started working at 8:30 that morning on writing lyrics for one of the new songs. SEE PHOTOS OF DEVIN DAVIS.
Davis wasn’t actually the headlining act — that honor belonged to the 1900s. I’d read some of the local articles about this band and heard one or two of their songs online, but I didn’t know too much about them. They were quite impressive, doing delightfully, well, “twee” music… and I don’t mean that as an insult. I like twee. At least, when it’s done well. I’ve always liked Belle and Sebastian, the band shown in the dictionary next to the word twee, and the 1900s play music in a similar vein. Not that you’d mistake it for Belle and Sebastian, but it’s another big ensemble (seven musicians and singers, including violin) with guy and girl singers, doing pretty pop ditties. I liked what I heard — and saw. One of the singers, Jeanine O’Toole, was clearly the focus of much of the audience’s eyes as she accented the music with her flirtatious moves. The crowd right in front of the stage was almost all women, obviously big fans of the 1900s, cheering wildly throughout the show. After the show, I picked up a copy of the 1900s’ six-song EP, Plume Delivery, and I’m already enjoying it quite a bit.SEE PHOTOS OF THE 1900s.
I missed most of the opening set by the first band of the night, Gentleman Caller of Bloomington, Ind., but I liked what I heard. Will definitely check them out. SEE PHOTOS OF GENTLEMAN CALLER.