A familial atmosphere hung about Madison, Wisconsin’s High Noon Saloon as Megafaun and Icarus Himself teamed up for a night of homegrown tunes on June 17, 2010.
Making up Megafaun are Eau Claire natives and former bandmates of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Brad Cook, Phil Cook, and Joe Westerlund. Now residing in North Carolina, the trio melds its Midwestern roots with their new southern swing to create songs that cross the valleys between atmospheric folk and blissed-out jams.
Stomping country clap-alongs were where Megafaun found the most success, getting the crowd to dance and in one case employing them as backup singers. However, for every time they drew the crowd in, they let them drift in equal measure. The band’s set held too many dragged-out meanderings that lead nowhere, making for impatient, weight-shifting, bathroom-visiting interludes.
Madison-based band Icarus Himself provided direct support for Megafaun, and though I only caught their last couple of songs, I was impressed. Now a three-piece, the band’s sound has come a long way from the one-man acoustic set we saw as opener for Owen in 2008.