Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Review: She & Him at Hollywood's Vista Theatre

She & Him & the Ghost of John Bonham
Vista Theatre
April 29, 2008
-Daniel Grant

Last night at the Vista Theatre, the quirky and low key sounds of She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) were, unfortunately, drowned out for most of the evening by the ham-fisted drumming of a sideman who seemed to have wandered in thinking he was auditioning for a spot in a Led Zeppelin cover band. Deschanel and Ward ran through almost all the tracks from their recently-released album, Volume One, along with a couple of old covers, to the strong approval of the sold out audience during the rather brief 50-minute set.

Deschanel's delicate and warbly voice was at its best on the opening track from the album, Sentimental Heart, on which she accompanied herself very simply on the piano and didn't have to compete with the misguided and poorly mixed heavy rock accompaniment that marred most of the rest of the set. In another miscalculation, Deschanel's former boyfriend, actor Jason Schwartzman, joined the band on stage for two numbers. On one of the Schwartzman numbers the actor actually took over guitar-playing duties from the superbly talented Ward with his own rudimentary playing.

Deschanel and Ward would do well to take a few cues from the evening's openers, Lavender Diamond, who mine a similar quirky vein to much better effect through a subtlety of playing missing in the seemingly ill-rehearsed She & Him set. A sound check probably wouldn't have hurt, either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking to hear more about this show and how it got so muddied, mismanaged in its execution. I love clarity and this review grants perspective without being axe grinding. -from a peculiar sort of follower of Senor Ward.