Blind Pilot closed out the first leg of their summer tour, playing in support of their brand new album, And Then Like Lions, which came out just last Friday. The band played a perfectly balanced setlist of both the new material and the best selections from their last two albums, 2008’s Three Rounds and a Sound and 2011’s We Are the Tide. Seeing as how it’s been five years since Blind Pilot’s last release, And Then Like Lions is a welcomed record for fans of the band who’ve patiently waited while singer-songwriter Israel Nebeker and the rest of the crew honed the new music.
Marin-born and New York City-based songwriter Peter Murray, of the duo John Heart Jackie, opened the show with a solo set that burned slowly and showcased Murray’s melancholy lyricism and forlorn delivery to good effect, though the crowd was still in conversation mode, sipping on beers in metal pint glasses (Lagunitas has done away with plastic cups) and catching up with friends.
By the time Blind Pilot took the stage, the sun was setting and the breeze was cooling the crowd, bringing them in close to the stage to sing along with the band’s effortless pop melodies. Seeing a band of this artistry, up close and personal in a relaxed setting like the LaguMiniAmphitheaterette, is a special occasion. I can’t wait to do it again next week, when Brooklyn indie rockers Parquet Courts play the next Live at Lagunitas show on Tuesday, Aug 23.