Elliott BROOD: Live in Pittsburgh

Elliott BROOD

Team GDW spent another evening in Pittsburgh last Thursday, returning to Club Café  for an eagerly awaited night of live music with Elliott BROOD.  Having last seen the trio of Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitkin just after the release of their “Ghost Gardens” album, it was an absolute pleasure to welcome them back to the Keystone State.  Indeed, if you are not at all familiar with Elliott BROOD, trust me when I state that this band has to be experienced live – and there are not many that would convince us to drive 3 hours on a weeknight during winter for a concert.  For Elliott BROOD, try and convince us to stay away!

Whether it was the time of year, the weather, or having a relatively small following south of the Canadian border, Elliott BROOD would play to a ‘very’ intimate crowd.  While we were a little embarrassed by the sparse turnout of fans, Casey provided some great positive spin, stating that they “had sold all 20 tickets; it’s a sellout…actually, we only had 10 tickets, so we oversold this one.” And although Elliott BROOD would spend an evening playing to a room of about 20 people, the band treated the show as if they were playing to a sold out room of 200.

With a strong 17-track set list, the trio performed non-stop for almost 75 minutes.  Drawing upon material from across their 15 year career, the band delivered hit after hit, adding several tracks from “Ghost Gardens” which have already garnered ‘instant classic’ status.  Newer cuts such as “Dig A Little Hole” and “The Fall” were received with as much enthusiasm as popular hits that included “Owen Sound” and “Second Son.”  I was particularly happy to see them perform “Johnny Rooke,” which opened the show and was an immediate deviation from their pre-determined set list.  Other BROOD classics such as “Jigsaw Heart,” “Taken,” and the crowd pleasing “Northern Air” would be shared too.

Having recently returned from a cruise (a ship that took them from Mexico to Pittsburgh, joked Casey), you could only feel sorry for Mark, who was reeling from the effects of ‘Disembarkment Syndrome.’  Casey, on the other hand, announced that he had discovered a taste for whisky here in Pittsburgh, and provided plenty of light hearted banter throughout the night; from CFL football (“our Hamilton Tiger Cats copied Pittsburgh, they even have the same team colors”) to the Quincy Jones revelations (“Richard Pryor and Marlon Brando; and not the young Marlon Brando, but the fat, old Marlon Brando”).  Mark would add that CFL players are poorly paid, and earn less than Elliott BROOD, who in turn earn less than Casey’s babysitter (a recurring gag on this night).  And after “Oh Alberta,” Casey announced that the song was about most of the Canadian provinces; though some were omitted because “nothing rhymes with Quebec,” before adding “imagine how long this would take if it was about the 50 US states.”

It may have been a slow night at Club Café, but for Elliott BROOD, the show had to go on, and they certainly brought their A-game.  What the crowd lacked in size, they made up for in enthusiasm, applauding each track and wanting much more.  The band recognized this and maintained their up-beat tempo all night, giving us a memorable Thursday evening and the strong desire to do it all over again soon.  As previously mentioned, an Elliott BROOD concert is both an addiction and an experience, and we want to give a big shout out to Mark, Casey and Stephen for making the journey down here to PA.  It was fantastic to catch up with you again, and let’s hope our paths cross again sometime soon.

Elliott BROOD Set List:

  1. Johnny Rooke
  2. Nothing Left
  3. Jigsaw Heart
  4. Dig A Little Hole
  5. Owen Sound
  6. Second Son
  7. Without Again
  8. Oh Alberta
  9. The Fall
  10. ‘Til The Sun Comes Up Again
  11. Stay Out ***New Track***
  12. Taken
  13. Better Times
  14. Wolfgang
  15. Only At Home
  16. Northern Air
  17. The Valley Town

~ M

Visit Elliott BROOD’s website.

Listen to “Ghost Gardens” on Spotify.

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