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Real Estate Opens US Tour at San Francisco's Noise Pop Fest | Green Up Music
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Part of the LiveOAK Network

About Us:

We are a new media company publishing websites that focus on energy, the environment and sustainable living. By leading the conversation about green issues, LiveOAK aims to advance the principles of sustainability by making them meaningful and accessible to a mainstream audience.


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Real Estate Opens US Tour at San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival


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Real Estate - SF Independent

Last night marked the official start of Real Estate’s US tour, in celebration of their most recent album, Atlas, to be released March 4th on Domino Records. Despite semi-significant technical difficulties and what appeared to be some awkward tension between Alex Bleeker and Martin Courtney, Real Estate would overcome the obstacles to pull off a strong start to their tour and a two-night run at The Independent. Both shows sold out well in advance, proving Real Estate to be one of the most highly anticipated bands of San Francisco’s 2014 Noise Pop Festival.

Just after 10pm Real Estate hit the stage and the tangible anticipation to hear Atlas live was satiated with the immediate taste of something new. Opening their set with “Crime”, which in an ironic twist of fate set the tone for a night tinged with mishaps and Bleaker’s mid-set plea to the crowd, “are you still with us?”, was a perfect place to start. Pulling us in with a sweet melancholy that is so familiar to Real Estate, “Crime” is simultaneously heartbreaking and potentially hopeful of reconciliation: “I don’t wanna die alone and uptight / Stay with me / All will be revealed”.

As the set progressed and technical issues continued to arise, undeniable frustrations were apparent on stage, yet the crowd couldn’t be deterred. Amps on the fritz didn’t stop these fans from rejoicing in the light of both old and new songs, filling the rainy night with soft tones and tenderness brought forth from Real Estate’s beachy, nostalgic sound. And if the tunes weren’t quite perfect, yet, a new backdrop mirroring the album cover allowed for a beautiful display of color and warmth on stage that kept everyone captivated and focused.

Bassist Alex Bleeker brought a continuos stream of laughter and joyous moments to the set, expressing repeatedly his deep love for San Francisco and clearly enjoying his wine, eventually passing the bottle along to fellow band member Matt Mondanile. It felt like a subconscious nod to the cathartic “Step Right Up (Pour Yourself Some Wine)” from Bleeker’s 2013 release How Far Away.

“April’s Song” was one of my personal highlights of the evening, a seductive expression of contentment, this instrumental was perfectly executed and well placed in the set. A much needed moment of lightness after a rocky start, I was pulled in deep, eyes closed and body swaying. Forgetting my place in time and just letting the music take hold. I was reminded that it’s these moments of pure enjoyment that keep me spending my hard earned dollars on live shows and new vinyl.

Coming off a short European tour and traveling from New York to San Francisco barely 24 hours after playing Atlas live in its entirety as part of NPR Music’s First Listen Live series, these boys were clearly a bit weary. But as the band returned to the stage for the encore everything seemed to fall perfectly into place. Coming together the best they had all night, Real Estate finished the set off strong with “Beach Comber” and “All the Same” mingled with elegant jams that had the crowd swooning.

Real Estate

In the end, the set included the full track listing of Atlas, giving everyone in attendance the chance to hear these new songs outside of a digital download or live stream. Atlas is undeniably a solid and beautiful third release from Real Estate, taking the listener on a journey through heartbreak and regret but somehow always providing comfort – a perfect pairing of melancholy lyrics and uplifting instrumentation.

I expect that the tour will only get stronger as they continue to get comfortable with the live renditions of Atlas. Tonight’s sold out show will no doubt be another crowd pleaser as Noise Pop continues at The Independent and venues across the city.

Bonus of the night: Getting the new LP a few days ahead of the official release. I’ve already given this album quite a few listens in the weeks leading up to last night’s show, but this gray weekend in San Francisco provides the perfect backdrop for spinning some new vinyl. I think we can all agree there’s just something about listening to a record, especially on a rainy day, that will never be matched by any of the various digital avenues for music consumption. I’m certain Atlas will prove to be the perfect soundtrack to my latest literary adventure with Tolstoy.

Real Estate Atlas

Atlas can be purchased at Domino Records here.

Real Estate plays tonight at The Independent, supported by The Shilohs and SF locals Dominant Legs. SOLD OUT. 

 

 


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