by Andrew Crisp
Two acts from the Southern haven of North Carolina graced Neurolux's stage Oct. 19: Midtown Dickens and Lost in the Trees. But their presence wasn't taken for granted by two audience members, who drove up from Salt Lake City just for the show.
During the soulful opener, Midtown Dickens—a Durham, N.C., quartet fond of banjos, mandolins and an upright bass—enjoyed the Utah couple's cutesy waltz about the venue's dance floor during one of the songs. Guitarist Catherine Edgerton was visibly touched.
"I messed up a few of those chords because I was trying not to cry," Edgerton told the audience. "For some reason, it was so sweet that you danced."
That night, Chapel Hill, N.C.'s Lost in the Trees gave its third performance in the City of Trees. Frontman Ari Picker was feeling a little off in the beginning of the band's set.
"I'm having kind of a loony moment, and its in front of all you guys," he said, smiling. "How exciting."
He seemed frustrated that the venue's sound had made the violin a bit tinny, and had given the tuba a thunderous bass. Nevertheless, the band found its stride with songs from its 2012 release, A Church That Fits Our Needs, and 2010's All Alone in an Empty House.
On the band's second-to-last song, members of Midtown Dickens jumped on stage to provide banjo, guitar and a musical saw, all members howling in unison throughout. But it wasn't until the final song that the audience really squeezed close.
As the band did during its last visit, LITT jumped down off the stage for an unplugged rendition of its final track, "Song for the Painter." Violinist Jenavieve Varga and cellist Drew Anagnost plucked their strings while Picker's vocals soared above the din of the bar crowd.
In a semi-circle arranged around the band, fans mouthed the well-known lyrics.