So it's been almost a week, but I figured that I might as well mention something about the show last Monday. It was at Gallery5 in Richmond, which is the same venue they played Oct. 30, 2006, last time I saw them. It's a neat place to see a show (the two Kayo Dot shows are the only ones I've been to there, mind you, but I've enjoyed both of them). I talked to Toby and Mia for a while between some of the earlier sets and got caught up on a lot of the changes of the past year or so (new lineup, new location, future tour prospects). Toby mentioned that, this being the first show of the tour, it was also the first performance of the current iteration of the band. As such, they were playing only songs from the new album. I have to admit that I missed hearing some old favorites, but at the same time, it was great to get a "preview" of the upcoming album, which unfortunately wasn't ready in time for the tour and will be out sometime in the next month or so (hopefully?). Ghastly City Sleep played first, and I enjoyed their set. They're a band I'd like to hear more from in the future. Next up was Pygmy Lush, a semi-local band from just a few hours north in the DC suburbs. I had checked out their samples online and their first album seemed a pretty eclectic mix of mellow, almost alt-country stuff and a heavier, more metallic sound. It seems that since that album was released they've lost the heavier sound entirely. At least, their live set (and the live-recorded CD-R I picked up along with the first album) indicates that they're focusing on an acoustic, clean sound - which came across really well live. Richmond's own Antlers was third, and they actually set up on the floor in front of the stage so that Kayo Dot could set up at the same time onstage and reduce the time needed between their sets. This proved to be an excellent arrangement, and they were definitely the crowd favorite. They played with a lot of energy - the best way I can describe the feel of their set was that it was very tight, lively, and organic. They had minimal vocals and sang as a chorus with all five members singing in unison with no microphones. I picked up their debut album and I'll be looking to check out more of their local shows. Finally, Kayo Dot went on at about 11:30 or so, and the fact that it was Monday and that much of the crowd was there to see Antlers meant that the audience thinned out quite a bit before they started their set. The new songs have a very spare structure in places, but there are also plenty of very complex layers to be found. As mentioned elsewhere, these are very woodwind-heavy songs, and the guitar work doesn't feature as heavily as on previous albums. Most of the time, only Toby was playing guitar, and at one point he traded off on clarinet for part of a song. Still, the sax duets, clarinet duets/trios, and flute solos give an entirely different flavor to an overall sound that I would say still falls very much within that "Kayo Dot sonic aesthetic" we've heard develop over the previous albums. I look forward to spending time with the new album, since the live environment can make it difficult to really get a feel for songs like this the first time you hear them. Oh, and Toby played a sort of extended guitar solo for much of the final song, which was different stylistically from what I'm used to, but it sounded great. All in all, just the kind of show I like to see. Four great bands in a cool venue, good merchandise selection, not a lot of wasted time between sets. I hope the rest of the shows have gone as well for them.