Live: The Pauses at Laser Wolf, April 2

The Pauses

April 2, 2011

Laser Wolf, Fort Lauderdale

It was a lovely night to be outdoors on Saturday -- especially if you happened to be standing around mingling amid the sizable and cheery crowd in Laser Wolf's pristine and elegant courtyard. The grass is lush, the bushes carefully manicured, and its shape is triangular by virtue of the old, charming building that provides its borders. At the peak of the triangular lawn was a comfortable stage setup, where Orlando band the Pauses, and local favorite (and friend of County Grind) Chris Horgan, each delivered beautiful sets of music, enriching the already sweet scene.

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The Pauses are a three-piece who are highly creative, deeply soulful, and really fun. They sometimes stick to a guitar, bass, and drum arrangement to deliver their groove -- which is at times haunting, funky, and sweet -- but incorporate lots of tasteful synth, keyboards, and sequencing as well. The lead vocalist, Tierney Tough, has great, comforting presence, and her voice is very chill and naturally energetic. Throughout the set, which featured mostly songs from their debut album, A Cautionary Tale, the influence of Radiohead was noticable right alongside tinges of '70s funk, with a lot more flavors glowing within their tight, unique sound as well.

The centerpiece of their stage setup was an old TV, which exhibited fun, kitchy images from the '70s: monkeys swinging from trees, women water-skiing, football games, scientists in laboratories, etc. And just in front of the screen, on the lawn, were a few wild and unstoppable dancers, who really helped to bring the music and the crowd energy to the next level. All the elements worked together perfectly to amount to a great show in a unique and wonderfull environment. At one point, guitar player Jason Kupfer commented on the scene: "This is like a Gatsby garden party. I feel like people should be playing croquet." That would've been cool too, but it was more than sufficient to have people playing music of that quality.

Earlier in the night, Chris Horgan played a nice set that featured older songs made popular by Sweet Bronco, his band, which is currently on hiatus, and new songs that he's been performing more recently. The crowd even got a brand new one. Horgan played the first half of the set solo, then for the second half, he brought out Sweet Bronco drummer Steve Copeletti. Together the duo jammed out newer tunes as well as an interestingly reworked version of the Sweet Bronco staple "Morning Night."

Critics Notebook:

The crowd: Was fun and friendly.

The lawn: Is such a sweet place for a show!

By the way: Is it me, or is croquet ripe for a comeback? Discuss.

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