(sadly, our photographer had an accident en route home with his camera, so no photos with this review-ed)
Amidst all of the anxiousness over the upcoming “rapture,” a welcome calm came in the form of Amor de Días. They decidedly made the first stop on their debut American tour our city, and Red Palace acted as the venue. Along for the ride was Boston pop/folk-rock duo Damon and Naomi.
As an opener, Damon and Naomi delivered a performance which flowed through the emotion of a sunrise sunset. Recruiting the help of Bhob Rainey on soprano saxophone, they sounded like a cool breeze in the countryside. Their charming demeanor and innocent lyrics created such a calming experience. Their stage presence was easy and confident—the fact that they we were all general strangers had no affect on them.
At one point, Amor de Días’ Alasdair MacLean joined the band in place of Japanese electric guitarist Michio Kurihara. The duo comically made note of the minor immigration issue which befell their guest performer. As the show must go on, MacLean has been transposed for Kurihara for the remainder of the tour.
I can’t express enough how humble and delightful Damon & Naomi were. From Damon openly offering his free drink ticket to a random woman in the audience, to their deadpan humor. To have been around since ’92, it’s a surprise they’re openers and not headliners—but Amor de Días soon took the stage, and proved why they were worthy of our attention as well.
Amor de Días is the new musical collaborative formed by Alasdair MacLean of The Clientele and Lupe Núňez-Fernández of Pipas. The duo sings tender lyrics in both English and Spanish; with vocals often drifting on a whisper. With accompaniment from Heather McIntosh on the cello, the duo included a mix of instruments: acoustic guitars, the glockenspiel, maracas, and even a sleigh bell.
Where Damon and Naomi took us on a journey from day to night, Amor de Días took us on an adventure through the seasons. Yet another beautiful set, the harmoniousness of their vocals sounded like a Spanish lullaby at certain points, and a dark fantasy at others. In my mind, I just imagined a twig flowing down a creek, or a forest of animals undisturbed by people.
There was such emotion driving their set—all the focus was on the music; the simplistic presentation only added to the overall narrative of the performance. Alasdair and Lupe only broke character to inject bits of friendly banter on occasion; one moment especially called out Pitchfork: “…where even the female writers are sweaty forty year old men.” I wish I could relive this show; this was the most refreshing demonstration of musical artistry that I’ve witnessed in a long while; I highly recommend taking the opportunity to see them live (same sentiment is extended to Damon and Naomi).
Damon & Naomi
How Do I Say Goodbye
What She Brings
Nettles & Ivy
A Second Life
Amor de Días
House of Flint
Dream (Dead Hands)
Season of Light
Harvest Time + Ext
Street of the Love of Days
I See Your Face
Wild Winter Trees