by Tarik Moody
Last night, the group S Carey played a show at Club Garibaldi’s. Front man and percussionist Sean Carey is probably best known for his work with Wisconsin superband “Bon Iver”, but his solo career has been gathering a full head of steam lately. Beginning with his first album All We Grow released in 2010, S Carey has been making music on his own, to much critical acclaim. With comparisons to the likes of Iron and Wine and Sufijan Stevens, Carey has developed a distinct sound with deep and introspective lyrics. S Carey’s latest release Range of Light, released earlier this month has been met with fantastic reviews. The show last night acted as a sendoff party before Carey embarks on his summer tour.
Luckily, before S Carey takes his talents elsewhere, we got to see why his schedule is booked solid this summer. Carey performed well into the early hours of the morning at Club Garibaldi’s. It was one of those shows you know you will never forget. It was a bit eerie seeing him playing such a small show when you know he is destined to be selling out large venues very soon. However, the intimate venue allowed for a close look at what makes S Carey so special. It was amazing to see how Carey was able to recreate the intricate and reflective experience found within each of his albums. Everything from the mood and the ambient energy surrounding the band was low key and contemplative. I could almost faintly hear the crunching of snow and other sounds of the Wisconsin outdoors that permeate his albums. However, the surrounding crowd was not the most conducive atmosphere to appreciate the subtleties of S Carey’s performance. The crowd was a bit rowdy, especially after witnessing the pulsating beats of White Hinterland as the opening act. I feel a more relaxed atmosphere would suit S Carey best and I am sure he will encounter many of these as his tour progresses. Despite the atmosphere not being completely ideal, the show was definitely worth the money. S Carey played a good mix of music from both his newest album and some of his older material. The highlight of the night was the group’s spirited performance of “All We Grow” toward the latter portion of the set. All together, the show was a perfect start to the weekend and the springtime.
It is clear that S Carey is much more than Justin Vernon’s percussionist and backup vocals. Carey has a style all his own that is bound to become even more recognizable in the coming months. It is amazing just how prolific Eau Claire has been in producing fantastic artists. S Carey, as demonstrated last night, can deliver performances on par with his Bon Iver colleague. Each song is reminiscent of the Wisconsin north woods and allows us to reflect on the beauty that surrounds us in this state. Their music makes us proud to be from the badger state. This summer will be a huge step forward for S Carey as they embark on an ambitious multi-continental tour. With stops that include large venues across the United States and Canada and even multiple shows across Europe, Carey will be a force to be reckoned with. I highly recommend checking out his newest album as well going to see him at one of his upcoming shows.