If you lived in Chapel Hill and were part of the music scene there any time during the 1990s, there was no better time to visit than Polvo's May show at the Cat's Cradle. It was a reunion for more than the band itself everyone I've ever known in North Carolina, from Raleigh to Greensboro, showed up for that show, including many people who had driven hours to be there. I drove hours to be there.
As Chad explained in last week's paper, Polvo has come to represent the highpoint of North Carolina indie rock, their discordant, sometimes epic sound gaining legendary status in the ten years since they broke up. There are many bands from era that I love, but none that have stood the test of time so well in my playlist they have never gone out of rotation, especially their 1996 double album, Exploded Drawing.
The Chapel Hill show was the most fun I'd had in months, but it wasn't much thanks to Polvo. Apart from a couple of high points, they seemed dazed by their return to the stage. They were sloppy and muddy-sounding. Many songs weren't quite recognizable, and not in a good, inventive way. I spent a decent portion of the show outside on the smoker's deck catching up with old friends.
So I was excited but skeptical about last night's show at the Earl. Apparently the six months back together playing shows has done the trick from the second they took the stage they were focused and powerful. Old favorites such as "Fast Canoe" built a steady surge of energy that didn't let up by the end of the show, new material already seemed classic.
For me, it was pure rock magic I know it's a cliché whatever. Aren't the best shows when you start babbling clichés?
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