I had never heard Megafaun before, but was drawn by its description on the High Noon Saloon’s show calendar, “…grafting delicate banjos and stoned digressions of their previous records onto sturdy, catchy pop song structures”. Friday night (March 23) the North Carolina-based band visited Madison on the first leg of a U.S. tour after February dates in Spain and Portugal.
I went to the show expecting lively banjo but was delighted in its alternate application as part of a restrained mix of guitar, keyboard, and sometimes accordion along with plodding vocal melodies that only occasionally rose to a dull yell. Add in their opening act Field Report, featuring a similar musical style, and it was and wonderful evening of folk-rock music with some unexpected flourishes, best displayed during Megafaun’s extended jam “Real Slow”…more photos after the jump.
In a surprise appearance, Grammy winner Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon sat in with Megafaun. Vernon had worked with Field Report’s Chris Porterfield in a previous band. Thanks to Scott Gordon of The Daily Page for identifying some of the songs played last night as they rarely introduced their songs; and I agree with Gordon that Megafaun was not as concise with some of their lyrics.
An excerpt from the opening band, Milwaukee’s Field Report, which is currently touring with Megafaun: