Au Revoir Simone show promise at TTs

A review of Au Revoir Simone at TT the Bears Place on May 28, 2009

, Staff Writer

<p>Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone have completely got their aesthetic down: three pretty women in above-the-knee dresses and black tights, square-rimmed glasses, performing on a stage filled with synthesizers, save a lone splash cymbal and bass guitar that is seldom used. Musically, they put together dreamy pop tunes that flow with Casiotone-like samples, on top of which they freely harmonize with one another. TT The Bear&amp;rsquo;s Place received Au Revoir Simone last Thursday, and the venue turned out to be perfect for this type of music. The crowd was light, but by no means small, and fully supportive of the band. Everyone had plenty of room to sway back and forth, and the venue that normally can get painfully loud was surprisingly subdued in a set that didn&amp;rsquo;t last much longer than an hour, but left everyone thoroughly satisfied.</p>
<p>The show served as a tour opener for their nationwide outing in suport of the recently released&amp; third album, <em>Still Night, Still Light</em>. They kicked things off with &amp;ldquo;All Or Nothing&amp;rdquo;, a relatively straightforward tune as far as Au Revoir Simone goes. The three ladies danced their subdued dances while working the vast array of instruments in front of them, constructing soundscapes through a number of different synthesizers and drum machines. They followed up with &amp;ldquo;Sad Song&amp;rdquo;, an earlier song with a little more pep than the opener, though I don&amp;rsquo;t think Au Revoir Simone is too worried about the pacing of their sets, which is to say every song seemed like it would be perfectly suited for any point of a set. They busted out the bass guitar for &amp;ldquo;Anywhere You Looked&amp;rdquo;. Now, granted, this band&amp;rsquo;s music can get a little same-y at times, but when you&amp;rsquo;re going to listen to Au Revoir Simone, you probably know what you&amp;rsquo;re getting into, and their formula is one that is consistently enjoyable in its own particular way. Even though there isn&amp;rsquo;t much variation as far as the sonic texture goes, that&amp;rsquo;s just the nature of their music.</p>
<p>The new songs pretty much comprised most of the second half of the set. One particular highlight was &amp;ldquo;Trace A Line&amp;rdquo;, which featured some sparse but tight vocal harmonies, and was definitely the finest vocal performance of the night, both in terms of execution and musicality. The set closed with &amp;ldquo;Tell Me&amp;rdquo;, which, incidentally, is also the closing track on Still Night, Still Light. For the encore, they started with another new song, &amp;ldquo;Knight Of Wands&amp;rdquo;, a frantic rhythm with the repeated refrain of &amp;ldquo;Oh, joy, I can see you&amp;rdquo; throughout. The evening ended with &amp;ldquo;The Lucky One&amp;rdquo;, another earlier track. What I said before about every song suiting itself to any position in the set doesn&amp;rsquo;t apply to this one: &amp;ldquo;The Lucky One&amp;rdquo; is simply a perfect way to have ended the show, with a lengthy introduction and a soundscape that slowly blossomed with each progressive verse. It ended with the band singing in unison &amp;ldquo;let the sun shine&amp;rdquo;, which honestly became less and less corner as it was repeated until you couldn&amp;rsquo;t help but smile a bit.</p>
<p>There isn&amp;rsquo;t too much to say about Au Revoir Simone, really. They do what they do well, and they don&amp;rsquo;t deviate from it very much. As far as darker synthesized pop music goes, it&amp;rsquo;s definitely a success, and the performers on stage are cute and shy in that endearing way that inevitably wins over audiences. They kicked off their tour appropriately, revisiting the old standards and bringing out new material, and hopefully Au Revoir Simone will see a fair amount of success their way as they continue to travel and perform.</p>

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