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演唱會評論 - Ivy

Ivy Takes Smoothness to Breathtaking New Heights
By Charles Tai

On Monday night, May 16th, 2005, New York’s atmospheric pop trio Ivy performed an exhilarating set to a cozy and passionate crowd at Richard’s on Richard, in support of their fifth full-length, In the Clear (2005). Charles Tai, co-host of That Chinese Show, was there to experience the band’s effortless brilliance first hand.

Perhaps because it was a Monday, the show was off to a rather sluggish start. In fact, there was no line-up at the door, when it opened at 7:30 pm sharp. After a bit of wait-and-see, Astaire, the quartet from Ivy’s hometown, kicked off the show with only a handful of audience in attendance. They were quickly followed by Vancouver’s synth-pop four-piece Hermit, who brought along a fancy screen projection that did more to distract than to enhance their performance.

Shortly after 10 o’clock, Ivy finally took to the stage, with guitarist Andy Chase, bassist Adam Schlesinger, and Parisian-born singer Dominique Durand. Loud cheers erupted, as people slowly poured into the front from many of the venue’s dark corners. The trio appeared to be in splendid mood, exuding an air of confidence that can only be found in the most seasoned veterans. The band was assisted by members of Astaire on drum and keyboard, and an additional guitarist was also called into duty. Right away, the six of them launched into the first song, Undertow, the opening track from their third album, Long Distance (2001).

Durand formally introduced the band to the crowd, once the opening number ended. Riding on a wave of momentum, the band quickly leaped into the second song, Thinking about you, one of the many new materials that were being showcased on this North American tour. Song after song, from Four in the Morning to Ba Ba Ba to Edge of the Ocean, Ivy explored new aural terrains and revisited some of the earliest classics since their debut, Realistic (1995). Long-time fans would be relieved and excited to find the new tunes filled with Ivy’s trademark suave and lush ambiance, while newbies would fall, in a snap, for their wistful popcraft and trippy melodies.

Throughout the night, the band was able to create a very intimate atmosphere, by throwing in humors along the way. At one point, Schlesinger, in all good humor, made a last-minute request that the mirror ball in the ceiling be turned on exactly when the chorus meets the verse. Technical staff scrambled to make the mirror ball work, and the band started playing the song. Viola! The light was set into motion halfway in the song and everyone just laughed.

Wrapping up the night, the band covered Serge Gainsborough’s L’Anamour and concluded with one of my favorites Get Enough during the encore. By this time, the crowd had broken into a free-for-all dance-off, which resembled a scene out of a hippie-era movie. At the end of the day, Ivy’s performance was just plain too smooth, overflowing with shoegaze romanticism and nostalgia. If you are not yet a fan, I recommend that you start with their acclaimed second release Apartment Life (1997).

For more information on the band, please visit Ivy’s official website:

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