Concert Review: Maps & Atlases at Grog Shop

Maps & Atlases & beards & glasses
  • Maps & Atlases & beards & glasses

Four-piece folk-prog indie band Maps & Atlases began their Friday night show inside the Grog Shop, but finished it outside with an encore on the concrete planters surrounding the venue.

Their early evening set, played before a thin, introverted crowd, was mostly split between their two most recent albums, 2008’s You and Me and the Mountain and this year’s Perch Patchwork.

Guitar players Erin Elders and Dave Davison rode both hands high on the necks of their instruments as they finger-tapped through many of the syncopated songs. Drummer Chris Hainey displayed excellent control supporting the irregular riffs, splitting his limbs between the kit, glockenspiel, and side of a wooden stand.

“The Charm” featured Elders playing a snare and bassist Shiraz Dada, hopping in rhythm, pounding a kick drum to create the marching percussion tromping under Davison’s vocals. “Artichokes” garnered the most enthusiastic reaction, though “Solid Ground” and “Witch” both stood out, earning the greatest of the crowd’s distinguishing boisterous cheer followed by in-a-library silence.

Outside the venue with an acoustic guitar, Davison’s hollow body, a bass plugged into a pocket-sized amp and a skeleton kit, the band led with “You and Me and the Mountain” and got impromptu harmony vocals from some wandering guy. “Pigeon,” an already intimate and lean song, felt exclusive played over the sound of traffic and people-on-the-street chatter.

Davison closed, slapping the harmonics of “The Ongoing Horrible” out of the acoustic guitar laid across his lap, singing with the support of the crowd before yielding for the late band. —Adam Burroughs

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