Milo Greene at Lincoln Hall | Photos and review
One listen to Milo Greene's eponymous debut and it's not hard to understand why the group managed to pack Lincoln Hall with a sell-out crowd. Featuring harmonies with a density rivaling those of Fleet Foxes, and a pop sensibility not unlike that of Rumors-era Fleetwood Mac, the Californian quintet is adept at crafting memorable melodies and resounding refrains. Most recently, the group's folk-rock anthems landed them on a stage at Lollapalooza, exposing them to an audience that turned out in force on Friday night.
Toronto balladeer Afie Jurvanen opened the show, playing under the moniker of Bahamas and accompanied by a pair of back-up singers as well as a drummer. Demonstrating a playfully serious demeanor, his straight-forward songs brought to mind the country-tinged balladry of M. Ward.
Filling the stage, Milo Greene started breezing through their repertoire, briskly belting out renditions of notable tracks like "What's The Matter" and "Don't Give Up On Me." There was a striking lack of individuality inherent in the band's multifaceted approach, with voices that shifted into focus as often as instruments were traded among the group's four singers. Of all the band's members, Marlana Sheetz offered the most recognizable performance, delivering renditions of songs like "Perfectly Aligned" that were differentiated by her confident vocal presence.
Attempting to eke an hourlong set from their single, 35-minute album, the band turned to covers to flesh out the performance. A take on Sufjan Steven's "Chicago" seemed uniquely suited for the group, with its grandiose tone bolstered by their ample harmonies. Conversely, a cover of Wilco's "A Shot In The Arm" that kicked off the encore seemed overstuffed with extraneous instrumentation and vocal parts. By the end of the evening, the constant harmonizing grew thin, and once that loses its novelty, there's little to differentiate this group from any other well-meaning folk troupe.