By Giles Turnbull
If you turned up at Drinkshop hoping to hear some dub hardcore Hawaiian, as Lauris Vidal describes his music on his MySpace, or the slightly more laid back, chilled out vibe of the songs actually on said website, then you might have been a little surprised.
Tonight, Lauris joked with the crowd, he was out to convert the metal heads to bluegrass. In this mission he was ably joined on violin by Josh Hernandez, who regularly plays with have Gun Will Travel from Tampa, Fla.
The same songs that sounded perfectly at home with the chilled out beats in their online incarnation, tonight stepped over into their folky bluegrassy alter-egos like they’d been conceived just that way. It’s a fine thing to see a committed and fun performance that makes a song seem natural however it’s being played. Indeed, Lauris is clearly just as happy playing with band, a friendly fiddle, or accompanying himself on guitar, tenor banjo, or ukulele. The music seems to adapt to each and every variation like it was meant to be just the way you’re hearing it.
The partisan home crowd, supporting Atlanta’s Lexi Street, thinned as the band finished their set of engaging, slightly ska-infused, melodious indie songs. Lauris continued in the same spirit, introducing an array of darkly optimistic songs, played with unceasing energy from first note to last, by which time he’d abandoned the stage in favor of standing on a chair, closer to the amused audience.
As the finishing touches are made to his imminent new album, the only question is, which flavor of Lauris Vidal is waiting for us this time? You can bet your bottom dollar, it’ll sound just right.