|The Fiery Furnaces
October 3, 2005 – Neumo’s – Seattle, WA
by Ashley Graham
So you think you've got the female/male duo trend pegged, do you? Checked out The Rosebuds at a recent club date? Shared a look with Sharin Foo at The Raveonettes? Witnessed The White Stripes and got the t-shirt? Well now there might just be a challenge to your prowess of the playing field. It's time to look beyond the alleged competition, to brother/sister duo The Fiery Furnaces.
This powerhouse blues rock duo is offering up a taste of something refreshingly different. After a few fan favorites they launch into a set nearly completely comprised of their new material, soon to be released on the new album Rehearsing My Choir, due out October 25. The band, which of course adds a couple members live, is a tight unit. As is often the case with duos, a look says a lot and the communication between the two most integral players is the driving force behind their onstage presence.
While brother Matthew Friedberger can get lost on his side of the stage, and behind his massive keyboard, sister Eleanor stands front and center, swinging her guitar, hips, mic stand and hipster hairdo in every frantic direction. Her sexy, gravelly voice can both draw you in and scare the hell out of you, becoming the centerpiece of every song. The Furnaces are impressive on and off the record, and the live show just gives even more cause to make the proper future recording investments.
Seattle band Bats of Belfry played second opener for the Furnaces, with a strong set of entertaining songs lead by an even more entertaining frontman, who may or may not realize he’s quite possibly too trendy for his own good. Either way, these fellas might be something to watch out for.
It must be said, though, that, while the Furnaces and Bats are no doubt a delight, the highlight of the evening came for those near the side entrance of the venue who witnessed Pretty Girls Make Graves drummer Nick DeWitt rethinking the cigarette he tossed on the ground, retrieving it and taking a couple extra puffs. Oh, someone get this fellow a new pack.
The Fiery Furnaces are on tour now until the middle of October. See their website, http://www.thefieryfurnaces.com, for tour dates and further information.