Review: Sea Wolf + Sara Lov at Bimbos 365

Published on October 10th, 2009 by

It’s been too long – over a year- since Sea Wolf played San Francisco. I was one excited gal when I found out they’d be playing Bimbos at the start of their White Water White Bloom tour. Sea Wolf played the 19th, and the album was to be released a few days later. I was fortunate enough to get an advance copy of the album from Dangerbird about a week before the show. White Water White Bloom was in constant rotation in my car, much to the chagrin of my kids.

I’d been hoping to shoot a portrait of the band before the show, but unfortunately there just wasn’t enough time. This was the band’s first out-of-town stop as they embarked on the new tour. They’d gotten only about three hours sleep the night before, but that didn’t stop them from putting forth a solid show.

Sara Love started the evening out on a tender and sincere note. She’s a brave creative soul that gets filed away in my mind along side “The Little Engine That Could”. Budget and other constraints made touring with a band unfeasible for Sara. But thank god that didn’t stop her. Instead, she got those creative juices flowing and decided to remaster her last album so that she could sing along with it on tour. Once the five vynil records were pressed, she built her own custom case for a record player (as documented in this video) and voila – her vinyl band was a fait accompli. Whiel she did play the majority of her set with teh record player, Sara was joined on stage for her last two songs by Lisa and Ted of Sea Wolf. There was a beautiful grand piano and Lisa but it to wonderful use.

I love the intimacy of Sara Love’s performance. He voice is haunting like Sarah McLachlan’s, and her voice seems to know all too well the pain and disappointment of life. There’s love and tenderness in her singing as well, and it made of a wonderful set. About half-way through I visited the ladies room, and the attendant wondered who the chantress with the mournful voice was.


Next up was the Old Fashioned Way. They were a swarm of multi-talented minstrels with a wide array of eclectic instruments – an accordion, a triangle, and a melodica, along with the standard rock instruments, too. Christopher’s smooth deep voice took me by surprise, and I like surprises.

Once it was Sea Wolf’s turn to take the stage, I made my way up front for a good shooting spot. I was so glad that I’d brought all my fast prime lenses along. Alex took the stage a few minutes early to tune up his guitar, and in the dim light I was able to catch a wonderfully relaxed shot of him as he prepared to take the stage.


The set opened up with “White Water, White Bloom”. It was great to hear so many songs off the new album, as well as reworked versions of some of Sea Wolf’s classic tunes. I loved the updated interpretation of “Song For The Dead.” I must have looked an odd bird singing along with all their new unreleased tunes. Nathan their guitarist looked at me and commented on how surprising it and unexpected it was to see people singing along with a yet-to-be-released album. He guessed that we’d gotten it the new-fangled way.

My only complaint was that Alex’s vocals didn’t seem as powerful live as on the new album. Watching him, there was plenty of passion in his performance, as well as in the performance of the whole band. My best guess is that the mix was a bit off and that a few more days into the tour those wonderful vocals were front and center as they should be.

Since they hit San Francisco before the album release, I’m hoping that they stop by again at the end of the tour. I’ve seen Sea Wolf perform five times now, and I can’t wait till they come to town again!

[Check out the full set of images from Sea Wolf’s performance at Bimbos 365.]
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[Check out the full set of images from Sara Lov’s performance at Bimbos 365.]
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[Check out the full set of images from The Old-Fashioned Way’s performance at Bimbos 365.]
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Comments

  1. Posted by City Mouse on October 18th, 2009, 14:53

    great review of the sea wolf show. I am glad you got an advance as well. Dangerbird takes care of its people. I have photo credentials and an interview with SSPU on the 26th here in Toledo. I will send over a photo set.

    Cheers,

    City Mouse