vireo is a lo-fi psych folk band from Pittsburgh who’s excellent debut release vireonidae dropped last year. The band is finishing up a mini state-wide tour this Thursday (10/19) opening for out of towners Esme Patterson and SUSTO at Cattivo. I want to thank Chris Beaulieu (Guitar/Vocals/Loops) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
Oh boy! I think the first album I ever bought was the soundtrack to the Fellowship the Ring. When I first started developing a taste in music as a youngster it was mostly all symphonic soundtrack music. It wasn’t until I was about 11 until I started really listening to solo artists and bands.
Your last album bought?
I just bought Julie Byrne’s first album off of iTunes. She makes such gorgeous and lush music. The last physical album I purchased was Deerhoof’s Friend Opportunity.
Favorite album of all time?
Gosh, this is always one of the toughest questions. I feel inclined to list a whole bunch but I’ll just say that every winter I end up listening to Greetings from Michigan by Sufjan Stevens at least a bajillion times.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all!
First concert attended?
Ha! My first concert ever attended was a ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic show. I was probably 12. I’ll never forget feeling amazed by the amount of spit being sprayed into the air while he sang. It was great.
I went to see Deerhoof a little bit ago and it was incredible! They didn’t bring any background sets or extra lighting rigs, no bells or whistles, just the four members standing in a line and rocking out. The entire band looked like they were genuinely having the time of their life on stage. Satomi, the lead singer/bass player, is such a gem and by far has the best dance moves of any front person I’ve ever seen.
Favorite concert ever?
Another toughie. tUnE-yArDs puts on a really fun, unique show with a refreshing stage set up, I had a blast seeing them. Fleet Foxes and Animal Collective also put on fantastic shows as well. In high school I saw the band Mutemath and they put on one of the most energetic and interactive live performances, I’m not the biggest fan of their music anymore but seriously one of the best live shows ever.
Least favorite concert?
I saw Lady Lamb play in Portland, Maine and the show was really lackluster. I was pretty bummed out because she is one of my favorite singer/songwriters and I had pretty high expectations. However, I saw her again here in Pittsburgh about a year later and it sounded wonderful! I guess it just goes to show that everyone has off performances now and then, even your inspirations.
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I’m constantly being blown away by the amount of talent that’s in this city. There are so many artists (both musical and visual) that I would still be a huge fan of had they come from anywhere else! It’s really inspirational. I also love spending time walking in Frick Park and Schenley Park. Lastly, the voices that tell you when to cross at crosswalks fascinate me. Why do some parts of the city use different voices? To whom do the voices belong? How does one be selected to be a crosswalk voice? So mysterious!
Thanks, Chris. I have never once noticed the ‘crosswalk voices’ enough to realize that there were different ones? That is kind of fascinating!