The Weather Station with Helena Deland

High Noon Saloon Madison WI February 24th 2022
by John Noyd
Posted: Feb 2022
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The Weather Station - High Noon Saloon February 24th 2022 - photo by Dave Robbins

The Weather Station - High Noon Saloon February 24th 2022 - photo by Dave Robbins

As a light snow fell on ice-covered streets, a warm and level-headed The Weather Station provided a safe haven under a steadily heady session of beautiful tunes wrapping thoughtful lyrics inside teasing keyboards, ghostly guitar and subtle percussive touches. In a set list favoring last year’s, “Ignorance,” with a smattering of cuts from the previous two albums, the storm outside and the news of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict proved a suitable backdrop for the band to highlight an album concerned with environmental issues and our responsibility as caretakers. Singer-songwriter and frontperson Tamara Lindeman delivers fascinating compassion with cultivated urgency and she let her strong songs carry her narrative at Madison’s High Noon Saloon with barely a sentence between songs beyond a thanks for wearing masks so she and her bandmates could safely return to their native Canada.   

In a flawless hour plus performance, The Weather Station impressed with their creative adventurousness and expressive sentiments, a telepathic galaxy summoned from restless tenets and nurtured worries. Occasionally crouching and frequently pacing between synthesizers, claves and guitar, Tamara’s black suit and tie hid a bright spirit, a firefly lighting moonless skies in formal attire, as her serious subjects betrayed a comforting optimism in their common sense and practical magic keeping the storm outside at bay.

A fluid unit, the five musicians switched from shimmering rhythms to piano-driven visions, lifting simple riffs with delicate melodies into sumptuous culminations sweeping dreamy nuance with lofty dynamics. Scaling back to give an advance taste of what Tamara called a collection of piano ballads; the two cuts from, “How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars,” a companion album to, “Ignorance,” to be released in early March, highlighted her eloquent messages, calm voice and luminous musical prudence. Returning for a two-song encore, Tamara once again thanked the venue and the attentive crowd, calling this visit their proper debut, having played Madison only once before as an opener for Basia Bulat back in 2016. Hopefully Madison won’t have to wait as long next time to hear this lovely music in concert again.

Fellow Canadian Helena Deland opened the night with rich cozy folk floating over the crowd in literate lyrics and translucent truths. Her first time in Madison, she made herself right at home with her friendly, low-key demeanor and sweet inviting voice.