What first caught my eye about Talk of Shamans was that they were playing at the Great American Music Hall with a fantastic songwriter/performer, Ezra Furman. So, amongst the requests that fly in through iheartsfbands.com, this one stood out. It was also an opportunity to try out another Håwt Linkzz music podcast/drinking game, so I threw it out there and the ToS guys were down so we met up.
We decide this episodes #buzzzzzwerd (read: drinking cue) will be “psychedelic” and make a short list of conversation topics and do a fun interview segment – when it comes time for them to play music and I. am. floored. The acoustic instrumentation is tight and immediately gravitational. I was smitten by the time Eric started singing. His voice resonates somewhere in a blender mix of celebration that includes Spanish flamenco, Kenyan tribal singing, Robert Plant, and David Byrne. Cade and I go fanboy.
Talk of Shamans are great to share the room with, musically and otherwise. The episode turned out to be one of my favorites we have done thus far, I found myself learning a lot, particularly from a comment that Ian made about them being a band of best friends. I began to really look forward to the Great American Music Hall show so I could root for my new buddies.
When I arrived at GAMH the next week, the place was already beginning to fill up with friendlies. I was easily not the only one enamored with the opening act, and when Talk of Shamans took the stage, the geeky smiles of the audience turned into full-on shit-eating grins. It felt like a little secret that somebody let out of the bag – this band that has been rocking house parties and dive bars honing their sound for the past handful of years was ready for their first time at one of the most respected venues in San Francisco.
The show was. Electric. Full shebang with kit-drums dancing with precision, Ian’s flow of movement impressed, his sticks tracing well-grooved paths to the head of each drum as he played. Joey bounced on the bass as he enjoyed his way around the stage, and when we were lucky, adding his sweet sweet harmonies. Eric upped the ante on electric guitar and escalated the joy in the room with his voice. Even the bar staff took notice as the Shaman friendlies got their fix. It felt important. For the Talk of Shamans, whose last message to the crowd before they left the stage was “well, you just watched us live a dream,” it was a monument that they will not soon forget.
Excited for these guys, the best is yet to come.