Blessed Feathers enigmatic frontman Donivan Berube, dressed in a suit that reminded me of David Byrne, took the stage at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall Ballroom this past Friday night at the end of what must have been an exciting week. From last Saturday’s show at Highnoon Saloon in Madison, to the release of Blessed Feathers second album “Hey All You Floridians” April 3rd. From the release of the literary zine “Sleeping in a Torn Quilt / Dreaming of Gold” which is edited by Berube to finally taking the stage at Turner Hall to open for Porcelain Raft and Youth Lagoon on Friday. Blessed Feathers is an eclectic band that included guitar, xylophone, an upright played banjo, and a slew of percussion instruments. They whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their mixture of eclectic songwriting and rustic rhythms, with a minimal yet profound approach to music that was a perfect fit for an evening that continued with Porcelain Raft.
Porcelain Raft filled the gap between first & second acts. Although only consisting of a drummer and frontman Mauro Remiddi on the guitar and synth, this two piece filled the hall with booming anthems reminiscent of bands like Block Party or U2. In fact, my favorite part of the show was when the drummer abandoned his drum kit to join Mauro at his synth setup which seemed to be a combination of synthesizers and hand height effects pedals. Porcelain Raft who blew the top off of Turner Hall were stylistically in sharp contrast to headliner Youth Lagoon.
Youth Lagoon embodied the minimalist theme of the night with poncho draped synthesizers and stoic emotional lyrics. It is this style of loud, but soothing vocals together with controlled synthesized work that took Youth Lagoon’s first album “The Year of Hibernation” all the way to one of the Top 50 Albums of 2011 according to PitchFork. Youth Lagoon is really the soul pop adventure of one man. Trevor Powers, who is touring with Porcelain Raft out of Brooklyn, was born in San Diego but told me after the show he now calls Boise home. Powers said to me, “I wish I could have given more” and told the crowd he “Didn’t know a person could throw up 10 times in a row” in reference to a bout with food poisoning that hampered the set’s length but not the quality or enthusiasm. All in all a great and surprising night of music that fully lived up to the $10 bill you would have parted with in order to see this “ten buck” show at Turner Hall Friday.