New York based Freelance Whales have been making tracks with their debut album Weathervanes since its release back in April. Their songs can be heard from HGTV to Twitter and they brought that same catchy, folk pop to their sold-out November 6th show at D.C.’s Black Cat. The talented quintet keeps quite a crowded stage thanks to the varying instruments employed during their performance. Appearances were made by a banjo, synthesizer, glockenspiel, drum kit, and mandolin to name a few. Many of Freelance Whales’ lyrics stem from lead singer/songwriter Judah Dadone’s dream journal and childhood memories, the band’s name actually comes from a near-drowning incident Dadone had as a child in the Sea of Galilee. The innocence and wonderment heard in their catalog also transfers into an exuberant live performance. Taking to the stage with wide smiles and a genuine appreciation for their large D.C. fan base, they maintained an excitement for performing and the crowd throughout their set. Throughout the show they often caught each other’s eye with a look of “wow, this is awesome!”. Dadone attended college at nearby George Washington University and he mediated on how amazing it was to play the Black Cat, a venue held special because as a college freshman he saw Bright Eyes perform there.
The finest song of the upbeat set was the catchy “Generator ^ First Floor”. It encompasses the band’s best qualities, which is pleasantly well-executed vocal harmonizing and use of slightly esoteric instruments. The folky hook from Chuck Criss’s glockenspiel echoed wonderfully throughout the Black Cat and bassist Doris Cellar happily bounced along to Dadone’s voice as she plucked away. Freelance Whales’ animated performance was reflected back in the audience’s youthful energy. The group has a large following in the younger set, probably due to their carefree, romance-laced pop tunes, heard best on “Hannah” and “Kilojoules”. It was fun (if I was in a therapist office doing free association regarding Freelance Whales “fun” and “cute” are probably the two words that would be heard throughout the session) to see the a simple chord progression jauntily conducted on Dadone’s synthesizer.
It was enjoyable to experience the happy-go-lucky vibe heard on Weathervanes in a live setting and Freelance Whales’ are defiantly a go-to band if you are looking for a fun and worry-free night of merrymaking. The band has shows scheduled throughout mid-December (dates below) and buying tickets beforehand is highly recommend given the band’s fast growing fan base and aptness at selling out shows.
By: Stephanie Glass
Thursday, November 11th / 8pm / The ND @ 501 Studios / Austin, TX
Friday, November 12th / 8pm / The Loft / Dallas, TX
Sunday, November 14th / 6:30pm / Hotel Congress / Tucson, AZ
Tuesday, November 16th / 8pm / Detroit Bar / Costa Mesa, CA
Thursday, November 18th / 8pm / Troubadour / Los Angeles, CA
Friday, November 19th / 8pm / Rickshaw Stop / San Francisco, CA
Sunday, November 21st / 8pm / Doug Fir Lounge / Portland, OR
Tuesday, November 23rd / 8pm / Crocodile Cafe / Seattle, WA
Wednesday, November 24th / 8pm / The Biltmore Cabaret / Vancouver, BC
Thursday, November 25th / HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Saturday, November 27th / 8pm / Kilby Court / Salt Lake City, UT
Monday, November 29th / 8pm / Hi-Dive / Denver, CO
Wednesday, December 1st / 8pm / 7th Street Entry / Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, December 2nd / 8pm / Lincoln Hall / Chicago, IL
Friday, December 3rd / 8pm / The Basement / Columbus, OH
Saturday, December 4th / 8pm / Brillobox / Pittsburgh, PA
Sunday, December 5th / 8pm / Mohawk Place / Buffalo, NY
Tuesday, December 7th / 8pm / El Mocambo Club / Toronto, ONT
Wednesday, December 8th / 8pm / La Sala Rossa / Montreal, QC
Thursday, December 9th / 8pm / Middle East / Boston, MA
Friday, December 10th / 8pm / Iron Horse / Northampton, MA
Saturday, December 11th / 8pm / Lily’s Pad / New Haven, CT
Tuesday, December 14th / 8pm / Johnny Brenda’s / Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, December 15th / 8pm / Webster Hall / New York, NY