These people sitting down here in the front must really trust us that were not going to jump on them, said Blanche frontman Dan Miller from the stage of Silverlake hipster venue Spaceland. His deadpan joke was that theres very little jumping at a Blanche show, especially this one, which capped the Detroit quintets monthlong nationwide tour with headliners the Ditty Bops. Live, Blanche more teeters and staggers than jumps. Nick Cave once commented that he wears tailored suits made from cheap material to give the impression of a man whose ambitions are just beyond his abilities, and live Blanche is a carpetbag full of Caves suits. Lisa Jannons church-time drumming and Greenhorne Jack Lawrences banjo and autoharp made the band a kind of impressionist dervish of vintage country signifiers as Dan and Tracee Miller picked and plodded their way through their quietly darkening tales of lopsided affections (Do You Trust Me?) and happy self-delusion (Whos To Say?). New songs such as This Town where Tracee handed off her bass to Lawrence and concentrated on singing hinted at a more confident Blanche to come. The bands country-dirge cover of Gun Clubs Jack On Fire where Tracee takes the final and I will fuck you till you die verse was a fitting third act for the Millers cat-and-mouse vocal trade-offs. Most surprising, however was their finale of Someday ... Tracee manned the drums, Jannon came centerstage armed with an acoustic guitar and glared straight into the crowd, while Dave Feeny, the quiet lap-steel hero of the night, suddenly burst into a crazed sermon-like vocal to the stunned crowd. He even took a stage-dive into the audience before returning to end the set. Part theater, part gimmick, but for finally getting those Spaceland floor-sitters (maybe 75) on their feet, Blanche was utterly effective.Hobey Echlin is a freelance writer. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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