Midlake | Mercury Lounge | 7.29.2006

Another good show on Saturday from Denton, TX’s best soft rock band, Midlake. This was a much more confident, comfortable performance than their last Mercury Lounge gig — probably ’cause it was the second of two nights there and didn’t have to spend the day driving from wherever they were previously. There seemed to be more room on stage this time, and band members could move around a little bit despite having the most equipment ever. As openers, their set was a little shorter than the June show and was probably better for it. Even for a big fan such as myself, one can only take so many midtempo songs about agrarian societies of the 19th century. (Heart on a Stick could take even less on Friday.) Midlake aren’t doing anything to deny the soft rock tendencies, either. Before the show they were playing the Doobie Brothers, ELO, and Exile’s "Kiss You All Over," a song I really liked in third grade. Thankfully, no Leo Sayer.

As some may know, actor Jason Lee is a big fan and very vocal supporter. In the new issue of Impose (which I read at the bar between bands) there was a short Midlake feature and, according to the band, Lee got turned onto the band because he’s friends with the guy who run’s their label, Bella Union. That guy would be Simon Raymonde, who was bassist for the Cocteau Twins. What? Part of me thinks Midlake were just feeding the writer a line of bs, but who knows — it’s a nice thought that the star of My Name is Earl and a former English goth are best buds.

More people were there for the two bands that followed. Cold War Kids had the crowd going berserk, and they certainly had tons of energy and were fun to watch. But CWKs just aren’t my thing. Maybe it was the singer’s Joe Cocker-isms. I was unmoved.

The same went for Sound Team, whose record, Movie Monster, I like a lot. Six people on stage shouldn’t bore you. But I was bored. (And before you say anything, I realize Midlake bore some people with only five members).



  1. Nice review Bill. Now I don't feel so bad about leaving after Midlake's set here last Tuesday (and missing both Cold War Kids and Sound Team) to see The Futureheads in a different part of town.

  2. The Jason Lee/Simon Raymond link isn't BS. I don't know that "best buds" fits the relationship description, but there is, nonetheless, a relationship, and that relationship is responsible for Jason Lee becoming aware of Midlake.

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