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Review: AgesandAges at Golden West Cafe April 27

Portland seven-piece AgesandAges performed at Golden West Cafe Tuesday in support of debut album "Alright You Restless." Contributor Mike Duffy sends in this review.

One could have lit a campfire at Golden West Tuesday night and it would have seemed appropriate.  Just take a listen to Agesandages' jamboree folk-pop and you'd see why that's understandable.

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On tour with Lake to support its recently-released debut album, "Alright You Restless," AgesandAges put on a feel-good performance to a room of about 40 to 50 spectators – including those located in the back bar.

Founder Tim Perry heads a seven-piece unit with steady, simple drums, jangly guitar and two percussionists utilizing everything from woodblocks to tambourines to their hands.

But what really made the 45-minute show upbeat was the vocal arrangement, which was both honest and uplifting, and made them sound like a choir.

Bandmembers contribute on pretty much every track.  According to a label press release, the full group even sang together into one microphone when recording the "Restless," and although AgesandAges brought enough mics to share this time, there was still a rich revival feel to the multitude of voices.

Perry has described his sound as "folk hymnals." That works. The crowd took up nearly all the tables in Golden West's dining room (nobody stood) and warmed to AgesandAges as the evening progressed.

Sure, not many people knew the lyrics, but the rhythmic clapping – which made regular appearances throughout the band's eight-song set – was pretty easy to pick up. Starting out with the quietly charming "These Elbows," AgesandAges rollicked through a more jaunty stomper in "So So Freely," which has an Age of Aquarius vibe to it.

It was on "When I Was Idle" that AgesandAges really hit their stride. Midway through the song, a tinkling piano set the tone for all voices to join in on the getle melody of "We don't need your enemies, save that trouble for yourself." The audience perked up. Rather than just sitting down, they began clapping along with the band.

It was probably smart, then, their best for the end. "Souvenir" and "No Nostalgia" – the closer and opener of "Alright You Restless," respectively – finished things out to a big applause – or at least as big the intimate crowd could get.

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The acoustics inside Golden West lend themselves to a band like AgesandAges. There's no need for them to be bombastic, and getting closer to everyone watching added to the church-like atmosphere.  "Honestly, I've never been to Baltimore, and even now, it's only been this four-block radius, but I gotta say, I like it. I like it a lot," Perry told the crowd. "The best way I can say this is Baltimore is so Baltimore, and that's a really good thing. I mean that in a really good way. A lot of places you go, it's like anywhere else." It seemed as

Setlist:

These Elbows
So So Freely
Under A Cloud Shaped Like A Tomb
When I Was Idle
Alright You Restless
(Unclear on this song; perhaps it was "Navy Parade")
Souvenir
No Nostalgia

Mike Duffy, a writer at baltimoreravens.com, is a frequent Midnight Sun contributor. He last wrote about Coachella 2011. Erik Maza edited this post.

Photo: AgesandAges official website

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