Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Sound Stage

Not as gloomy


Patrick Tape Fleming performing at Vaudeville Mews.

Patrick Tape Fleming performing at Vaudeville Mews.

The Mews’ late show was kicked off by Patrick Tape Fleming’s Gloom Balloon. I’ve been critical of Gloom Balloon in the past, for reasons that are too complicated to indulge in here. But there were highlights in this evening’s performance. Topmost among them was the live performance of Gloom Balloon’s first true single, “She Was the One That Got Away.” For as distracted and unfocused as Gloom Balloon can be, “She Was the One…” is a genuinely good piece of music, featuring tight songwriting and a memorable hook. For the rest of the set, I’ll suffice to say that Fleming is an enthusiastic performer and watching him on stage is always a good time.

Following Gloom Balloon this evening was Des Moines-based 13-piece (!), Canby. And therein lay the greatest paradox within Saturday’s show: Thirteen people on stage, roughly a half dozen of which had microphones, and the one person who shouldn’t have been singing was the guy up front. Canby front man Scott Yoshimura is a talented, talented dude. The quality of his work as The Envy Corps’ drummer is unquestionable, and in Canby he’s put together an amazing sounding side project. And make no mistake, Canby’s 12 backing members sound great: four horns, a bassist, drums, keyboards and backup singers all come together and sound fantastic. But Yoshimura’s vocals just can’t keep up. When he stays within his natural range, he can be classified as capable, but there wasn’t a single song in the set that didn’t rise above or drop below his modest capabilities. But Canby’s overall sound is so strong that the complete package still works at least well enough to call the evening a qualified success. CV

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