Earlier this week, El Vy, which is made up of Matt Berninger (The National) and Brent Knopf (Ramona Falls, Menomena), kicked off their North American fall tour with their very first live show at Portland’s own Doug Fir Lounge.
El Vy, a project nearly a decade in the making and developing over the course of Berninger and Knopf’s years-long friendship, released their debut album last Friday. The album, entitled Return To The Moon, is an accessible sell for fans of these artist’s other works. Return To The Moon features the baritone vocals and sullen, occasionally off-beat lyricism that avid National listeners will quickly identify to Berninger over a catchier, more pop-oriented music style that can definitely be attributed to Knopf.
Monday’s show at the Doug Fir, which became night one of two after the first show rapidly sold out, featured opening performances by two Portland natives: indie-pop group Lost Lander, and soul/folk singer Moorea Masa. Both put on excellent performances that had nearly everyone buzzing by the time El Vy took the stage.
Berninger, Knopf, and the rest of the band seemed to be having a genuinely fun time performing together and, as a member of the audience, it was contagious. This being the first time the band played any of these songs in front of a crowd, there was definitely some nervous energies, but El Vy channeled them well into a seamless performance.
Their set covered every song on Return To The Moon and the band closed out the night with a much publicized cover of “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals. The fan-shot performance of that song can be seen here:
You can catch El Vy stateside on their North American tour that will continue throughout November. December will see the band heading overseas for a series of European dates. Check out photos from their debut set at the Doug Fir Lounge below: