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Sam Roberts Band bring their best to The Chapel

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By Tom Dellinger //

Sam Roberts Band with Kris Orlowski //
The Chapel — San Francisco
March 19, 2014 //

One of Canada’s best and most highly regarded artists rolled through town this week. Hailing from Montreal, The Sam Roberts Band played to a respectable turnout at The Chapel on Wednesday night. However, it must be said that if he were more widely known in the Bay Area as he is at home, it would have almost impossible to get a ticket.

Though the band has played at several of the larger festivals on the east coast and enjoyed a successful week at SXSW, they are still relatively unknown in and around SF. That should change, because this week’s performance had everything one could ask for, and this band truly deserves a strong turnout. In addition to covering much of their new record, Lo-Fantasy, they also hit highlights from years past, such as fan favorite, “Where Have All the Good People Gone”.

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With their first release Sam Roberts Band in 2003, the group has developed a strong following at home where their style and sound has been well received. Sam and the band have the ability to shapeshift in many musical directions, which became abundantly clear as the night progressed. Musically, they can go from an 80s style sweeping synth to classic hard-edged rock, to thumping dance beats, to sweet trebly guitar riffs reminiscent of African High Life.

Vocals are strong too — the band provides excellent back up and Sam’s voice, in particular, has an astonishingly broad range. He possesses what could be considered a great rock and roll voice. Wednesday night’s performance was a rich, flawless performance that had the fortunate souls who found their way to The Chapel smiling and dancing the night away. Hopefully they’ll find their way back again soon.

Opening for Sam’s band was Seattle based Kris Orlowski, who was backed by his band, Chris Garcia (drums), Jonathan Warman, (bass), Torry Anderson (keyboards) and Mark Isakson (guitar). It was a strong enjoyable set of originals from this band.

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