Review: HOMESHAKE gets groovy at Rickshaw Stop

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Homeshake, Peter Sagar

Photos: Johan Doornenbal

SAN FRANCISCO — As rain continued to pour outside, HOMESHAKE set the mood insight the Rickshaw stop Tuesday, playing tracks from his most recent album, Fresh Air.

With tickets in high demand, the Montreal indie-pop project of singer-songwriter Peter Sagar had added a second, matinee concert. At the evening show, Sagar serenaded concertgoers with sultry, relaxed R&B. His 10-song performance began with “Hello Welcome,” off HOMESHAKE’s new album. Sagar mixed in older material, such as “She Can’t Leave Me Here Alone Tonight,” from 2014 debut In the Shower, and “Heat,” from 2015’s Midnight Snack. The three albums provided the variety for the evening, as the Fresh Air material by itself would have been too slow and stagnant. While the newer songs slanted toward R&B, older material was more reminiscent of groovy ’70s psych rock.

Sagar told a few jokes between songs, and took a brief impromptu break after the drummer’s kick pedal broke. When addressing fans, his humor was dry and witty, like Mac Demarco, for whom Sagar is a touring guitarist. But for most of the show he hid under his white bucket hat and his stage presence was hushed, with little commentary.

Sagar played “Call Me Up” and “Khmlwugh” back-to-back, highlighting his smooth voice, before concluding the main set with “Home At Last,” a book-end to the opening track. He saved his most popular track, Midnight Snack‘s “Give It to Me,” for the brief encore. From the song’s slow, skittering guitar riff to its lo-fi synth, each instrument focused attention to Sagar’s vocals, leading the crowd to hum along together.

The night began with San Francisco band Healing Potpourri, who performed in front of a large animated cocktail visual. Flutist-saxophonist Geoff Morris, wearing a cowboy hat and aviator sunglasses, exuded funk. Vocalist Simi Sohota led the crowd in a jazzy singalong that served as the perfect gateway into HOMESHAKE’s set.

Follow columnist Ruby Virchow at Twitter.com/RubyVirchow. Follow photographer Johan Doornenbal at Twitter.com/the_johan64 and Instagram.com/johan.doornenbal.

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