April 21, 2012
The Punch Brothers, a band that is as comfortable playing a stringed rendition of Radiohead’s “Kid A” as they are Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen,”Â continue to make the steady upward incline behind their instrument mastery. They have long since amassed a devoted following, but recentlyÂ have drawn the attention of the mainstream eye, courtesy of becoming the topic of discussion for one very unlikely man: Elton John.
John, who hypes Chris Thile and Punch Brothers to Rolling Stone at seemingly every chance he gets, comparing his first listen to the bluegrass swayed collective to being like the first time he heard Little Feat and the Band, swears that he wants to make his next record with them — proclaiming that it would be “like a Fairport Convention record.” (Related to this night, the Punch Brothers played a tribute to the Band’s Levon Helm with “The Weight”)
There is no doubt that the quintetÂ (Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert banjoist Noam Pikelny and fiddler Gabe Witchner) are digging the publicity that has managed to find its way into two Rolling Stone cover stories in the past month, but while John continues to swoon, the Punch Brothers have to continue to do what they do until the fantasy record drops — play shows.
This is exactly what they did when they passed through Atlanta on a Saturday night, stopping in at Variety Playhouse. Playing to a full house, the crowd that gathered did so to hear the unique sound of which only the Punch Brothers are capable … the one for which the Rocket Man has been falling all over himself.
(Scroll down to read typed setlist or click to enlarge)
Married, NYC, Flippen, Whos Feeling Young Now?, Clara, Missy, Young Queen, Sexx Laws,Train, Hundred Dollars, Kid A, Wayside, Tulip, Soon or Never, Watch’at Breakdown, Rye Whiskey
Encore: Patchwork Girlfriend, Movement, The Weight *%^
Notes: *In memory of Levon HelmÂ %with Jesca HoopÂ ^AcousticÂ at the lip of the stage
Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Michael Podrid…