Opening Bands: Ola Podrida
Date: April 22nd, 2008
Band Links: link
She and Him features actress Zooey Deschanel (Elf, Almost Famous) and M. Ward. They have an indie, country folk sound that sounds straight out of the 60s & 70s and I love it. As soon as I heard their single “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here,” I was hooked! While She and Him may not be for everyone, I really enjoyed this show.
At first, people could barely get tickets to the She and Him concerts in NY, then the shows were almost completely canceled altogether. For the first night at Hiro Ballroom, tickets were sold out in 5 minutes and I missed the chance to get tickets. Then I found out there was going to be a second show added, so I decided to hit refresh on my browser until tickets went on sale. I managed to get 2 tickets but again, tickets sold out in minutes. The day of the first show, it was canceled last minute and people were panicking. Apparently it was canceled due to “sickness,” which we later found out was because Zooey lost her voice. Eventually, the promoters/band/whoever decided to move the first show’s ticket holders to the second show, and move the show to Webster Hall. Webster Hall is a bigger venue than Hiro Ballroom so it made sense, considering how fast the tickets sold out.
Since there was no photo pit at the show, I wanted to go to the show early. I actually got into the city at a decent time and had time to kill so my girlfriend and I were on a quest to find a clean bathroom. There were a few people outside the venue when we arrived, and I was just hoping to get a spot in front so I could take pictures the entire time. While I was sorting out my pass, my girlfriend secured a spot for us so that was nice of her. The opening band was Ola Podrida and they are from Brooklyn/Austin? I never heard of them before but I think I would like their music better on album. The singer’s voice was quiet and hard to hear at times; but then again it could have been the sound at Webster Hall? They play indie folk and I didn’t have a problem with their music. As far as a stage presence, they didn’t really seem to move around that much; I don’t even think they smiled? I don’t know, they just weren’t that exciting. I think the crowd seemed to be bored from them. I wasn’t necessarily bored, but wish they move around a little more and sung a little bit louder.
Up next was She and Him and they came on around 9:20pm. I think they were originally supposed to come on at 9pm. Zooey and M. Ward took the stage, along with a backing band. Since Zooey lost her voice, she had pre-written messages on cue cards. For someone who didn’t talk in between songs, she certainly still charmed the sold out crowd. They opened with the song “Black Hole” and then went through the majority of songs off their debut album “Volume 1.” I never heard of Matt Ward before She and Him but I think I’m going to check out his other albums. I thought he was a fantastic guitar player, and he occasionally sang back-up. He was pretty much staying out of the limelight for the most part while Zooey did her thing. Who would have thought Zooey could sing, write songs and play the piano? It’s just nice to see an actress who can sing and she’s not doing some stupid pop album or something.
Some of the songs that I thought stood out were “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” “Change is Hard,” “I Thought I Saw Your Face Today,” “This is Not a Test” and “I Was Made For You.” They also played a few covers like “You Really Got a Hold of Me” and did 1 or 2 songs from M. Ward’s solo stuff. The backing band went off stage a few times, then it was just Matt and Zooey. At one point they had a cute moment together as they both played the piano. Since I was on the other side of the stage, it was hard to capture that moment. Zooey seemed to be a little nervous at first but I think once the show went on, she got more comfortable. But other than that, I thought the show was great and thought the band did a wonderful job.Originally, I thought their show might not have been that exciting to see live, but I was proven wrong. At least that’s what I thought. If you like She and Him’s music, definitely go see them live if you can.