Midlake, John Grant | Cat's Cradle | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week

Clubs & Concerts

Midlake, John Grant

When: Sat., April 3, 9:30 p.m. 2010

It's wasn't just Midlake's sudden, near-complete shift from the bulbous, Fleetwood Mac-like rock of 2006's Van Occupanther to the elegant, Pentangle-approximating British folk of The Courage of Others that caused so many once happy to sing along to pronounce that they'd grown bored with the Denton, Texas, quintet. No, that seems too simple a dismissal. In fact, the most straightforward and reverent tune on Courage, "Fortune," a two-minute trinket at the album's center, is also its most delightful. Redolent images of recognition and resignation drift in gentle shapes above intertwined acoustic guitars and mellotron—good luck arguing with something so beautiful. The trouble comes when they attempt to shake free from the reverie, electric guitars and heavier drums suggesting strident climaxes. But time and again on Courage, Midlake seems too timid to wring the blood from those moments, plugging a fissure that would reinforce the emotional brood of tunes like "Small Mountain" and "The Horn." Instead, the album just bobs without clear direction, a buoy drifting on fairly calm seas. Don't expect that to hold live: If Midlake can break the studio's circumscription, these latest tunes could sear. Former Czars frontman and current Midlake collaborator John Grant opens. The 9:30 p.m. shows costs $12–$14. —Grayson Currin

Price: $12–$14

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