Show Review: The Mynabirds at The Earl [Atlanta, GA]

by Beth Yeckley

When I first reviewed The Mynabirds’ album (the mynabirds) in May, I knew I had been handed something wonderful.  As David Bazan, whose band performed the headline, said of them last night, they aren’t producing “accessory music”—what Laura Burhenn has created is not the slightest bit frivolous or of a nature that is easily put on and then taken off.  She has created a collection of songs that are bursting with an impassioned confrontation of the bad hands that may have been dealt her way—but you can tell she is having fun singing about it.  Burhenn and the band played The Earl last night, in East Atlanta, on their way to wrapping up their tour with David Bazan and band.

The band was all smiles between songs last night and full of an energy that well primed the Tuesday night crowd.  I have to give tons of credit to the band (part of a rotating tour cast) that is backing up Burhenn, as well… Ben Brodin (guitar), Rebecca Marie Miller (vocals and percussion), Nicole Childrey (drums), and Patrick Damphier (bass) are thrilling to watch and hear alongside her.  And while I usually notice guitarists over drummers upon first glance, Nicole Childrey was an absolute terror on the stage—that girl can seriously play her heart out.

What became really apparent throughout the night was the intensity of the music, which isn’t done a total justice on the album (though the album is still amazing).  Patrick Damphier’s bass play was definitely accented in all the songs, and gave a new level of heaviness and deep soul to the set list.  The band opened with what I consider the most memorable song on the album, “What We Gained In The Fire.”  Most of the night Burhenn was behind the keys, but occasionally she’d pick up the tambourine and move about the stage, lighting up songs like, “Let The Record Go.”

While it seems that most of the people last night were there to see David Bazan, I have to believe that many of them walked away remembering The Mynabirds.  I think this is something that doesn’t always happen in the dynamics of an opening band and a headlining band, in regards to the fans.  Sometimes the opener isn’t a strong support for the headliner and sometimes it can’t even successfully stand alone, able to capture the audience’s attention.  But The Mynabirds, I’d say, had a very successful night in Atlanta.

Oh yeah, and David Bazan shut the place down—he was incredible.