Vagabon at The Fillmore, by Kaiya Gordon

Vagabon (photo: Kaiya Gordon)

Lætitia Tamko made one of the most empathetic, deft albums of 2017 with Infinite Worlds. Yet somehow, if possible, Tamko's talents shine even brighter in her live performance — her voice sounds easy, clear, and full, and her toggles between guitar, keyboards, and synth look almost effortless. Or, as I said to friends after I saw her set, TBH, Vagabon shreds.

At the Fillmore on December 28th, Tamko played in advance of Cherry Glazerr. The bands have vastly different approaches to live performance — Tamko's set was strikingly intimate, feeling almost like we were watching her play in her own recording space, while Cherry Glazerr attacked the stage with the energy and intensity of a rock and roll band — but both clearly deserved to be playing into the legacy of The Fillmore.

Though I've seen Cherry Glazerr before, as soon as they walked onstage to "Toxic," I felt unprepared. Clementine Creevy is one of the hardest-working vocalists in alt rock/pop (who even knows) today, wheeling around the stage with both her body and voice. During their Fillmore performance, that energy seemed even sharper, paired with a light show, surrealist tree and crab sculptures, and a strobe. I've said that Cherry Glazerr has grown into a band which takes their song construction seriously, and consistently delivers tight and structured performances. That's still true. But true too is the fun that Cherry Glazerr brings to a crowd — the excitement, movement, and humor. I was disappointed just once — when synth player Sasami Ashworth walked out in sneakers, instead of the Crocs I've seen her play in before.

"I'm wishing I prepared tricks for this evening," Tamko said to the crowd at one point during her set. "But I don't have any, so I'll just have to sing songs." But the trick of Vagabon's beauty is just that — singing songs which sound like they could only be sung by Tamko, and nobody else. Her music is occasionally billed as "stripped down," but what I find most compelling about Tamko's approach as a musician is the way that she builds each song to several keening crescendos, weaving her stark lyrics into expanding synth sequences and drum and guitar riffs. Or, I guess I could say, into infinite worlds of sonic grace.

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