Posted by: Nick | April 25, 2008

Review: Stars of the Lid @ The 930 – 4/24

Stars of the Lid, Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride, came to Louisville’s 930 Listening Room last night as part of their first North American tour since 2002. The duo lives a world apart (one in Brussels, one in L.A.), but have united to ride the wave of support for their new album. SOTL’s 2007 album, And Their Refinement Of The Decline, was way up on most of the major lists. Behind Coltrane’s Blue Train and Miles’ Kind of Blue, this album is the third most played in my iTunes. Their sound is classical music with an electric ambient twist. Adam and Brian play guitar and keys and are accompanied by two violins and a cello. It is the perfect sound to fill the room when you want to relax, but not fall asleep.

SOTL’s performance was enhanced by panoramic images and film projected onto a large screen behind the stage (ala The Photographic). The audience sat silent in the dark and were treated to an hour of ambient bliss. One problem, however, with solely instrumental performances is that it is hard for the audience to know when the song is over to show their appreciation with applause. There were a number of short awkward pauses between songs, followed by a smirk as the room remained quiet. After 45 minutes of playing, a simple “thank you” (aka it is okay to clap now) from the band prompted a hefty round of applause. The final song was was noted to be about “vegetarians;” but the reference was missed on me. It was great to finally have an image to compliment the compositions that I have heard a hundred times.

Christopher Willits, out of San Francisco, opened and played a similar style of music as SOTL, but based solely on guitar lines layered with custom-built software. He to had images displayed on the screen behind him, providing the audience with visual stimulation to balance the rhythm and texture of his music. Needless to say, his set was a great way to get people ready for SOTL. He will continue to open for SOTL for the rest of the US/Canada tour, then SOTL heads to the UK.

A few from And Their Refinement Of The Decline (Kranky, 2007)…

Stars of the Lid- Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottage

Stars of the Lid- Humectez La Mouture

Stars of the Lid- Another Ballad for Heavy Lids

buy it

More pics below the break…


Christopher Willits


  1. Opportunity is truly equal as a minimum. ,

  2. Marbury and I think almost everyone would benefit from reading a good bit of it. ,

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