There is something special about performing a song for the first time live. Although it might not be as fine-tuned as some of the older songs in the catalog, sometimes the jagged edges of a performance can reveal an undeniable authenticity and a raw energy that can only be harnessed in those early stages.
When eclectic folk rockers Cedar Teeth took the Mississippi Studios stage in May of last year to performer “Moonlight Waltz” for the first time (with Banana Stand Media in the house filming, no less), Erin Corzine’s lead vocal was haunting, pulling you in early and never letting go. The narrative feels like a battle hymn, with the snare drum marching in. Corzine’s well-crafted imagery tells a story; it takes the audience on a journey and even her bandmates seem to lose themselves in it at times. The conviction of her vocal performance is met by a well-played and texturized performance from the band, the drums acting as a heartbeat for the words being delivered and, of course, Cedar Teeth’s stellar staple vocal harmonies, which all results in a showing that has a lot of guts and a lot of feel.
“Moonlight Waltz” is theatrical and grandiose; it’s focused and leaves you with no impression that this was the first time that Cedar Teeth had ever performed the song live. The raw energy turns the jagged edges of the performance into gritty moments that complement the delivery of the performance. A fruitful experiment for the band all captured by Banana Stand Media, Cedar Teeth certainly did seize the moment to document something special with this captivating first-ever live performance.