By Louis Rozza - Hooked On Sonics - 11/14/2005

American Analog Set are nearing the tail end of a long North American tour which started in support of their sixth record Set Free, released on the Arts & Craft label. On this night, they hit Montreal for the first time in a while, and if what the band has been saying is true, this could be the last time they will tour. My introduction to the recorded history of American Analog Set came pretty late in their career, with 2003’s fine The Promise of Love which was so good that it inspired me to pick up my guitar again and start a new band. Since then, I have heard more of their material and read numerous articles; they still remain an influence. The band was in fine form, playing a set comprised of not only the new record but also some gems from earlier releases. The main sound of American Analog Set comes from the organ and keyboards, which pulsates through every song, reminiscent of that drone-pop sound that Stereolab used to have. The set was filled with quiet ambient guitars and keys, and on occasion pouring over into a gigantic wall of sound. It was a perfect soundtrack to the beginning of winter: quiet, dark, repetitive, somber. The band was in good sprits too, with singer Andrew Kenny often thanking the crowd, especially the ones who were sitting on the floor in front of the stage, which he said made him feel more at home. The one shortcoming was that I wish they played longer; it was so enjoyable that the hour or so that they did play just flew by. The crowd, mesmerized throughout, wanted more too and coaxed the band into one final song, a request made by someone in the audience. All in all, it was a great experience to finally see one of my favorite bands live.

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