As previously reported, last Sunday night, Bowerbirds played at The Earl. Raleigh's Mandolin Orange opened with a folksy set of sad-core country ballads, and even a waltz or two.
Mandolin Orange manged to keep the crowd surprisingly quiet for an acoustic folk band, and they even got a call for an encore (which, being the warm-up act, they couldn't oblige) from the possibly partisan crowd. I suspect that a large contingent had came down to Atlanta from the Tarheel State to see the two North Carolina bands.
Bowerbirds took the stage around 10 and started strong, playing In Your Talons for their second song and Tuck the Darkness In fourth.
The set remained strong, with the musicians frequently changing instruments and places on the stage. Guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, violins, accordions, cellos, drums, shakers, and even a triangle, one of the more underutilized instruments in rock music, were played at various points during the set (no cowbell).
Speaking of birds, Zen Master Dogen once said, "When birds fly through the sky, however they fly, there is no end to the sky. When fish move through water, however they move, there is no end to the water. At the same time, birds and fish have never, since antiquity, left the sky or the water. But if a bird were to leave the sky it would die at once, and if a fish were to leave the water it would die at once. So we can understand that water is life and can understand that sky is life. Birds are life, and fish are life. It may be that life is birds and that life is fish. The existence of their practice-and-experience, and the existence of their lifetime and their life, are like this." I challenge you to find a better explanation of Bowerbirds' video for Tuck the Darkness In.