Total Gig Rating: 8.5
This was one of the biggest gigs I’ve been to in a while.. I got to the door at around 20 minutes before opening and there was already a line of about eight people. Since the show was (first all-ages, then 16+, then 18+, then) 16+, there were a lot more kids there and the crowd seemed a lot less pretentious than most of the hipster crowds I end up in the middle of and feeling out of place. I mean, as fabulous as I may seem (and I bet I seem really fabulous), I’m really just a music nerd kid who likes to have fun at shows. I can’t keep up with this obscure fashion-junkie crowd and I don’t plan to try. But anyways, with this crowd I felt more comfortable and I have BUSINESS CARDS now, two of which I ended up handing out. I feel so official. One strange thing from the evening was the friggin’ barrier. It was made of hollow steel pipe and the height of it was just under my chin. After that it was two feet of open air and then another pipe. Seriously, what the fuck? If you’re gonna have a wobbly little awkward thing like that, just don’t have a barrier at all… #barriersnob
The nouveau punk, the Strokes-with-a-twist band The Static Jacks were the first to play of the night. Listening to their studio music you really don’t get a punk feel from them but it comes off much stronger live. They were all decked out in docs with cuffed skinny jeans and punk-band t shirts of the likes of No Age, Stray Cats, and Buzzcocks. The “everybody fuck off!” cardboard sign really sent waves of anarchy through my core. I assure you it did. I can’t tell how much I think that they’re actually punk and how much I’m laughing at their punk act, but I can assure you that they put on a fun show. Ian Devaney (their lead vocalist) knew that you can’t just sing and be static… he was kicking and thrashing all over the stage and really seemed to be into it, which I appreciated. At one point he made his way out into the area between the barrier and the stage and then forcibly propelled himself backwards, to land straight onto a power strip, do a backwards somersault, and then get back up and start singing with the same energy. Bravo to you, sir. With their sound, they really weren’t original at all but their show was fun as hell. Thanks to The Static Jacks.
The New York Nick-Valensi-is-probably-our-idol band is up next. May I present to you, The Postelles! Easily my least favourite show of the night, but better than some bands I’ve seen. They had the same kind of Strokes twist to them, but didn’t pull it off in a good way. It was ten steps below The Strokes’ sound and one step above really mainstream pop rock. Not so good in my humble and striving to be honest opinion. The only time I had fun during their set was the short cover of Hound Dog by Elvis that they did. Fun times for all. They did keep me laughing, though not necessarily on purpose. I was laughing because a) their bassist had on a khaki trench-coat and a blue bandanna tied around his neck b) their rhythm guitarist Dave Dargahi was surprisingly good when he bust out into his solos but was cutely awkward when he played and ended up turning his back to the audience when the guitar parts got more intense and c) their lead singer Daniel Balk felt the need to pull his shirt up every few minutes once he took his jacket off, which was pretty hilarious because you could tell he liked what he had… Either that or he was just hot (temperature-wise)
And finally, ladies, gentlemen, and other, the act you’ve all been waiting for, The Wombats! Hearing good things from my European (ooh wow european wow ooh how cool) friends of their live act, I expected only the most energetic from this Liverpudlian band and I was definitely not let down. From the first note to the last they kept the energy in the theater pumping and dancing. The only small dip in their setlist was their performance of Little Miss Pipedream, which is kind of a clopping indie-pop tune. At four minutes long and with a slow feel, it didn’t really translate well into a live set. The rest of the show, however, was very very fun. I mean, all this indie-folk-hipster-spaced-out-stoner-rock-pop-stuff that I go to can be okay, but you just have to go to a show where you can just have fun and dance once in a while. And believe me, I did. I’m sure some really ugly pics of me jumping and singing along are bound to end up on the interwebz somewhere but IDGAF you guys. I go to concerts to have fun, enjoy music, and forget. Matt Murphy’s floral print guitar was dazzle-tastic and their bassist Tord Øverland-Knudson (what a name) was flailing across the stage at high speed. It was just fun, pure fun. Sure, their lyrics aren’t too deep and sure they’re not the most original act out there but it was a high-energy dance fest. Not to mention, their Liverpool accents had me guffawing every time they said something. You know in The Yellow Submarine, Ringo’s walking down the street talking about Liverpool being a lonely place on a Saturday night? Yeah, I kept getting that image in my head…
(photos coming up in my next post)