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|The Stills / Land of Talk
October 8, 2006 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA
by Melissa Mueller
Normally The Showbox is one of my favorite scenes in Seattle, but there was something off at the Stills/Land of Talk show on Sunday night.
Maybe it was the smaller-than-usual crowd, or the fact that it was colder in the venue than it actually was outside. Or it could have been the somewhat disappointing set by Canadian-born, bound to be straight-to-MTV2 The Stills.
Opening band Land of Talk, who are also from Canada, surprisingly won over the crowd with adorable lead singer Liz's infectious (but not whiny) vocals. They debuted a new song entitled "Death By Fire" which was a hit, and they easily got the crowd with contagious lyrics like "She keeps you/and she needs you" in "Seafoam." Liz seemed to be channeling Chrissie Hyde a la The Pretenders in "Speak to Me Bones," and overall, the band's humble attitude made it easy to enjoy their show.
The Stills opened up with a strong impression on the crowd but slowly started to wind down. Drummer Julies Blais was the definite highlight with his strong and notable pedal footwork but seemed to be drowned out by repetitive, tiresome lyrics. Ballad "Helicopters" seemed to kill what little energy the audience had but the band did manage to get some hand-clap movement going on in the middle of their set.
Undoubtedly the legion of fans that were holed up in the first row were having a blast right along with the band. But for first-time listeners of The Stills, the group failed to make a lasting impression, as many people lingered towards the back and gradually started to leave the more the set went on.
The Stills is still currently on tour, playing various dates at the end of the year again with Land of Talk.