The In | May 15, 2007 8:00 @ Mirasol
By: James Nokes

Muggy summertime patio gazing meets the clink and sizzle of Latin dining when Marisol opens its doors in the Loop on May 15 at 8:00 for Ceviches, Tapas, and the acoustic wanderings of the In, who for the first time have traded in their electric fuzz for a more vulnerable show.

Taking a hint from singer-songwriters Mason Jennings, Martin Sexton, and more recently, Bright Eyes, vocalist Nathan Graves, bassist Dan Huck, drummer Mike Schurck, and saxophonist Chris Wilson have decided to brave a sound that, frankly, leaves them a little bit scared.

“We talked for a long time about wanting to do something laid back,” Graves said, “because we always felt our music was well-geared for a more scaled back sound. It’s a chance to bring out our talents and very different from the past, since all the songs are getting back to the roots in terms of where they have been written from.”

Coming from old-school blues influences with injections of Radiohead, John Coltrane, and Muse, the In deliver a strange marriage of hip-hop, rap, Americana, split singing, and simplistic rhythms that ever since their first official performance at the Pageant shaped the way the band would progress. “That show was pivotal to the direction that were going to be taking from there,” Graves said.

Perhaps scariest for the four will be the chance for new audiences and the fear that follows a fresh performance. “New people will be hearing us,” Grave said, “and any time there is a change like that, it opens us up to a lot of learning and new challenges. It’s a challenge we all face, and as a vocalist and guitar player you have to think about different things like the touch of fingers on an acoustic instrument and what is coming out of the sound hole.”

Wilson has always had the idea of fans in flux at the back of his mind. “If you’re going to pull some people in, you’re going to push some people away too,” Wilson said. In a city where the music scene is so small, Wilson said, “There’s not a lot of room for pretenders.” If they suck, the fans will know. Fortunately for the In, who have had a fair amount of success in the past, the band probably hasn’t too much to worry about. Acoustic sets are just another way to prove your worth, nothing to hide behind, “nothing to get lost in a big rock show,” Huck added.

These kinds of performances turn musicians into nitpickers “I went back to my influences,” Graves said, “seeing how they took in thoughts and ideas and how they turned a phrase and held a melody. Yeah, I’m a little bit nervous, but in a way, that’s a good thing, because it’s one of those challenges that you know you’re better for having completed.”

“Really, the show will be what we do already, just stripped down, back to basics, which is kinda cool,” Graves said. “Hopefully the change will rejuvenate us and get us to rethink what we do,” he added. Huck, who seemed genuinely in love with the idea of acoustic play said that, “The great thing about an acoustic show is the ability to express the soul of a song in a more intimate way.” With the high-energy of the In’s previous performances, audience members have not yet had the chance to see the band raw and exposed, but, “With a show like this,” Graves said, “we hope fans will be able to experience all the different textures of our songs. It’s a chance to hear us again in a different way.”

And if by chance audience members don’t feel as positively as fans at the In’s previous performances, no matter. “It’s all about having fun, and if you’re having fun,” Huck said, “nobody can really throw a stone.”


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