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Midlake Deliver Verdict in Philly

PHILADELPHIA: The Texas quintet bring soft-rock debut, The Trials of Van Occupanther, to the North Star Bar.

From the moment mellow rockers Midlake’s projector lit the screen behind them — displaying a homemade video for “Some of Them Were Superstitious” and scenes from Tess, Roman Polanski’s reworking of tragic Victorian novel Tess of the D’urbervilles — it seemed showgoers weren’t in 2007 anymore. But the night wasn’t meant to be one of confusion, even if the band boasted its brand of soft rock some three decades after their obvious influence, Fleetwood Mac. Rather, mild-mannered frontman Tim Smith maintained a literal approach to his songs, explaining “Chasing After Deer” as a tune “about a guy and his girlfriend who get distracted by a deer and chase it off a cliff.” JAIMIE KREMS / PHOTOS BY BRIAN MUNCY

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We asked: What the heck does the name “The Trials of Van Occupanther” mean to you? COMMENT