Broken strings, tuning problems cannot stop The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers, marching to the militant beat of their snares, overcame technical difficulties to deliver a classic concert experience to the multi-generational crowd at Higher Ground last Friday night. College students, local Burlington residents and middle-aged travelers alike left Higher Ground’s main room with rock-induced satisfaction evident in their smiles and discussions. “I thought it was fantastic,” Richmond resident Kate Wolff said. Wolff wasn’t alone in this conclusion — many of the sweaty individuals enjoying the night air discussed the successes of the show. “I really liked it … but I thought the microphones of the singers were too low,” senior Emily Casey said. “I couldn’t hear their jokes.” Despite sound and technical issues, the group earned high marks from amateur critics outside. Though the weather was cool outside — a refreshing break from the summer heat — the temperature, and the tension, was high as guitar straps slipped and tuning problems persisted. Fortunately for the Canadian indie rock band, the concertgoers didn’t seem to mind. After only a few songs, lead singer Dan Bejar’s guitar broke a string. Not uncommon during live shows, it wasn’t a noteworthy hiccup until the singer-songwriter joked, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I haven’t been playing with a B-string all night… I like it. Who ever uses the B-string anyway?” They played music from many of their albums, including “Challengers,” “Twin Cinema” and the newly released “Together.” With the band’s popularity increasing dramatically since the release of “Challengers,” many listeners favored the older tunes. Focus remained on songs from older albums, despite the early May release of “Together.” Most attendees agreed that the set list was ideal for the band. For both the young and old, people looking for an energetic, diverse and open-minded experience went home happy. “It was a good atmosphere,” senior Mahasidhdhi Parmar said. “I felt like everyone there had a good time. They brought out a lot of different people, all ages and types.” After this first visit to Burlington, The New Pornographers will be welcomed back with open arms, enthusiastic fans, and maybe an extra guitar string.