Hey Rosetta! – Show Review
By Harriet Kaplan
A multi-layered sound that is almost orchestral, ornate in its complexity and depth, Canada’s Hey Rosetta! create indie rock/folk music that is aural ear candy. Each of the seven band members, including singer/songwriter Tim Baker, Adam Hogan, Phil Maloney, Josh Ward, Kinley Dowling, Romesh Thavanathan and Mara Pellerin, are gifted and talented in their own right. Most of the musicians, played at least two or more instruments, with ease, skill, dexterity and finesse enhancing and elevating the overall sound throughout an hour-plus show at the Wifi Bootleg in Silverlake, CA. Hey Rosetta! drew upon material from “Seeds,” their third album, and the band’s latest effort, “Second Sights.” The best, most memorable and distinctive numbers that stood out among the 13-song set were “Cathedral Bells” and “Bandages.”
When the group ventured outside of the mid range, and rocked out, Hey Rosetta! struck a more dynamic, passionate and emotional chord with those unfamiliar with their songs. Unlike their obvious followers – the very attentive and devoted fan base in the audience – who seemed to be won over and blown away by anything they chose to spotlight. The concertgoers were moved and affected by all songs, regardless of a tempo shifts, whereas a new listener may have lost interest as a result, their attention span wavered. For a band that has been together since the early 2000s and is known for their exciting and compelling shows, the biggest surprise and disappointment is how disconnected they seemed from their own audience.
Often each group member had their backs to their fans as they wildly cheered and applauded them after each number. Hey Rosetta! played and sang as if they were in a rehearsal room alone just with each other not front of a live audience. In a sense, no one else existed but them and they were in their own world. Even singer/songwriter Tim Baker looked above the heads of the crowd staring right him instead giving them direct eye contact.
Unfortunately, the band waited too long toward the set of their set to interact on a visual level and coax participation from the audience as one by one people started to left the venue. The momentum was just lost. Baker’s dull in-between song banter didn’t help much either and redeem the the value of the set. A nondescript story about buying a chili hamburgers in L.A. and a book Baker described reading which inspired one of their songs failed to bridge the widening gap between the band and their fans.