The brand new band Quiet Hounds played their first-ever performance this evening at Atlanta's Goat Farm art community.
The performance was billed as the one and only concert ever to be held in Building B-9 of the Goat Farm. Building B-9, located at the western end of the complex, is actually two distinct but contiguous structures. In 1899, the site of Building B-9 contained a lumber-drying house with a 60-foot framed chimney and a lumber shed. By 1911, the lumber-drying house had been replaced by a frame shed (itself destined for replacement) and the lumber shed had been replaced by a two-story, brick building, now the eastern half of B-9. This building was originally used as a motor-truck department. By 1931, a western extension of Building B-9 had been built between the eastern half and Building B-8. Both sections once housed woodworking operations.
In 2012, the band Quiet Hounds made their entrance into Building B-9 marching through the audience, wearing face masks while playing banjo and guitar and singing unamplified. They took the stage still singing this way, sounding a little like Freelance Whales, until, suddenly, BAM!, the PA system kicked in and the sound suddenly went from acoustic quiet to rock loud. Very cool start to the show.
Those masks are sort of their thing, bordering on a gimmick, and have been worn in all of their publicity pictures and videos up to this point. Their intrigue is only deepened by not using any individual names for the musicians. Who are these guys? They could be anybody.
It was both a revelation and a relief then when the masks came off during the first song of their set to reveal the musicians behind the facades. I still don't know who they are, so their mystique remains.
The band's a quintet, with several multi-instrumentalists. The lead singer occasionally filled in with some guitar and some keyboard, and at other times pounded a tom drum. As they described themselves in their own no-names-used manner, they are "one part prolific lyricist and melody writer, one part instrumental savant, one part curator of taste, music and culture and one part effortless precision of all things percussive."
Both their songs and their playing are actually quite good, and with any luck at all - and a lot of hard work - the band may actually come to some prominence. Keep an ear out for Quiet Hounds - you may find yourself glad that you made the effort.
They ended their set similarly to the way it began - by marching back through the crowd playing acoustically and singing without amplification. But this time, they tarried for a while in the middle of the audience and sang one song without any amplification, before walking out of the building as they sang the final chorus. A nice symmetrical ending to a very pleasing show.