Live Review & Photos: Saintseneca at Soda Bar, October 8, 2014

Photos by Chris Maroulakos

With three openers, it was a while before a crowd of 30 attentive listeners and fans received the beautiful, folk harmonies of Saintseneca at the Soda Bar on Wednesday.

And lucky were those 30 in the crowd. Saintseneca began the West Coast portion of their “Saintseneca Never Sleeps” tour in San Diego and are currently trekking all the way up to Washington. Hailing from Columbus, OH, the folk-rock band delighted the crowd with a 45-minute performance.

So harmonious was Saintseneca’s sound and so clear were their vocals that they tore up the set. They were on that night as if the world were a wondrous place for dancing and rocking softly. They were so relentlessly perfect and well-rehearsed that it was barely noticeable when all four switched instruments, as they did repeatedly throughout the night. This was a testament to their talent. Their arsenal included a Paul McCartney-style violin bass, a beautiful acoustic archtop guitar, a sleek black rhythm guitar, and an instrument straight out of Eastern Europe that resembled a tambura. There were also some keys played.

Their lead, Zac Little, was stoic. The only thing that seemed to matter to him was singing perfectly, and the set’s minimal banter came from the other members of the band. “We went to the beach today,” said the tambura player at one point. “Which one?” yelled out an audience member. “THE beach,” came the reply.

Highlights of the set included wonderful hits from their new album Dark Arc like “Happy Alone,” when they stripped the band down to only Little and Maryn Jones for the title track from their Lost EP, and their cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Passionate Kisses.” Even that cover was made distinctly theirs.

Saintseneca’s lyrics were often poetic, like the “Only the Young Die Good” line, “Yonder would break days plump with thunder of new and glorious morn…” All those sounds in there were pure poetry. The presentation of their lyrics was apropos to their music. While there was rocking and rolling, there was little music played over the vocals. Either that, or all four would sing in flawless harmony. The mix between those dynamics in their songs made for clear vocals and memorable music.

Next time Saintseneca is in town, make sure to catch them. They are a wonderful band and should not be missed.

Photos: Saintseneca at Soda Bar

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