Shearwater shows David Bowie some love in Brooklyn

Jonathan Meiburg and Shearwater at Brooklyn's Rough Trade on March 16, 2016. (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Jonathan Meiburg and Shearwater at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on March 16, 2016. (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Jonathan Meiburg the lead singer and head honcho of the crew of talented hired guns that call themselves Shearwater these days (or Johnny & the Meiburgs, as one former member dubbed the band) have been playing songs from David Bowie’s 19979 album “Lodger” lately while touring then new album, “Jet Plane and Oxbow.”

On Tuesday night, the band put those 10 songs together and played them in album order at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“This is the first time we’ve played them together in order,” he told a small but enthusiastic crowd — which included Okkervil River frontman and onetime Meiburg bandmate Will Sheff.

Shearwater drummer Josh Halpern (of Austin's Marmalakes) nailed the drum parts on the band's "Lodger" play-the-album show at Broooklyn's Rough Trade on March 16, 2016. (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Shearwater drummer Josh Halpern (of Austin band Marmalakes) nailing it on the kit at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on March 16, 2016. (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Judging from fan videos from the tour, Meiburg’s team has come a very long way and worked really hard to perfect an album that Meiburg told the crowd had “helped me through a tough time this past year.”

While he never explained details of that tough time, it was clear that Meiburg, whose supple voice doesn’t sound much like Bowie’s, had a lot invested in the show. He handled every song with aplomb, filling the brief re-tuning moments between songs with little gems of information about them. For instance, did you know that “Move On” is based on “All the Young Dudes” played backwards?

The whole band was solid on every track, but, aside from the vocal lines, the big challenge came in the drum parts, which Josh Halpern nailed.

I’m generally not a fan of play-the-album shows, but given that this was not Shearwater merely recreating its own album, but rather showing some love to the late, great Bowie, I made an exception.  was an excellent show, worth attending.

Meiburg reportedly was recording for some future use, so keep a lookout for that.

 

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