Last Monday I headed over to the Black Cat backstage to see Laura Stevenson and the Cans. I did this knowing exactly one Laura Stevenson song. But it's a really good song, so I figured I'd take my chances. Not only was she fantastic, the opening band, The Wild, was a revelation. They put on one of the best sets I've seen all year. They were like a bluegrass (banjo!) and Irish (oodles of percussion!) influenced Titus Andronicus. They had two vocalists -- one male and one female -- and a whole lot of punk energy. The recorded work I've found by them thus far fails to capture the epic nature of their live performance, unfortunately. But if you ever see them headed to your town, don't miss it!
Laura Stevenson's live show was also a pleasant surprise in that it was a lot more aggressive and high energy than I expected. She saved "Master of Art" for her last song, but I enjoyed everything that came before it. It was solid power pop and the accordion/trumpet player in the band provided a refreshing layer to the overall sound. Also, fun fact that I learned whilst going to her wikipedia page: her grandfather was the composer of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and "The Little Drummer Boy." Random.