Say Hi (…): Neumo’s, Seattle, WA 5/8/09

A recent show by Seattle-based, Barsuk artist Say Hi (…), revealed a generally promising young act that could use a bit more fleshing out. A one-person recording artist (Eric Elbogen), Say Hi’s recent show featured Elbogen and a drummer, opening for Minnesota’s amazing Cloud Cult.

They were musically tight. They did all the right things, alternating heavy rock chords and melodic slow points. Both musicians moved enough to be relatively visually engaging. However, somehow they lacked the magnetism, the charisma, and the sheer-genius songwriting of other, similar acts (Portland’s Helio Sequence comes to mind).
In listening to their new album after the show, it’s clear that they (or Eric, in that case) are musically talented. The problem, if it can be called that, is that the songwriting, at least from this author’s perspective, isn’t engaging enough. Mr. Elbogen clearly has musical talent, but his music simply failed to grab this author.

All that said, part of Say Hi’s problem may have simply been their opening for headliner Cloud Cult. Seemingly more upbeat than in the past, and with a relatively new line-up in the band, lead singer Craig Minowa and company knocked the musical show out of the park, proving themselves one of the best, and most engaging, touring acts of recent years.

Northwestern Girls – Say Hi

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