I hadn’t either. That is until a mysterious email showed up in my inbox last week from Case’s frontman named Cale inviting me to their show at the Lincoln Hall on Wednesday, June 20th. The band just recently put out an EP entitled Questions of Space, and upon giving it a listen, I was intrigued and decided to attend the show.
The EP is a three track collection of acoustic songs that drift along nice and slow, made up of simple yet emotive chord progressions, and breathy, almost whispered vocals. What stood out to me the most were the various brass and string instruments used on each song. Track one, “So Much It Could Be; So Little It Is,” utilizes a striking trumpet that serves as the emotional heart of the song and violins add colorful texture to the steady acoustic guitar strumming.
I walked into the show a few minutes before Case took the stage and the crowd was small. I wondered why and as I looked around, I noticed that the vast majority of the audience were kids –middle school to highschool. “Are all these kids friends of the band? What’s going on? Where AM I??” I thought to myself. But friends or not, they exuded tremendous enthusiasm for Case and often times when kids rally around something with such fervor, it’s probably got some merit to it. “Do they know something I don’t???” was my final thought before Case took the stage.
Before the set, a music video of theirs (apparently filmed a year ago but yet to be released) projected on the screen above the stage. That was the first show I’ve ever been to that started with a music video. It was kinda cool actually – I read once about early gigs by The Cure where they would play a 20 minute movie right before their set and I always thought starting a set with a visual was an interesting idea. The band was made up of a whopping 12 people, all very young…I’d be surprised if any of them can vote yet. Guitars, electric bass, drums, a string section, and a horn section made up the ensemble – all the necessary elements to take the songs of Questions of Space to a new level, different from the record.
On stage, the songs took on a more urgent sense. Clearly there’s a vision behind this music – teen angst? Isolation? Or the beauty of the world seen only through youthful eyes? Whatever it may be, what is obvious is that Cale and the rest of Case craft it with care and honesty that comes across very well in a live setting, the songs benefitting from the striking talent in these kids. What was noticeable right upfront was the switch from acoustic guitar to electric - a switch I was very much behind as the guitar’s tone was a crisp jangle (I’m a sucker for a clean tone). The horns were the next best part, providing a level of depth to the songs that allowed for a wider, dreamier atmosphere than on the record.
I won’t lie, I though it odd initially when I saw the crowd was pretty much just kids and their parents. I wondered how Case even got a gig at Lincoln Hall, given their age but I’m glad they got their moment. Questions of Space is pretty cool and these kids have some talent for sure. Not a bad Wednesday night.
Listen to Questions of Space Here: https://soundcloud.com/ca_se/sets/questionsofspace