Monday, November 06, 2006

Last Week's Concert Recap

Since I haven't posted anything here in approximately forever.

Saturday the 4th - The Obligatory Post Where I Gush About The Black Keys Show

AKA - That's a lot of noise for only two guys.

Tight. T-I-G-H-T. Tight. Tightthightthight.

And lovely LOUD. (I really needed a loud show. I could feel it soaking in and my brain sighed for love of the loudness.)

First. The opening act, The Black Angels = The Hollies + a smattering of Jim Morrison. They were quite decent (female drummer, which for whatever reason, always wins bonus points with me) and also very high. I'd go see them if they're around, but not for more than $10 ($15 if they were with somebody else good.)

Second. Following the theme of the evening, the drink of choice was Johnny Walker Black. Yum.

Third. "That Girl and Guy Who Would Not Stop Screaming and Singing Along Poorly" were right behind me. I didn't pay $18 to hear them mangle the songs. Tonight, though, was better about the request yelling. Probably because there was about 1.5 seconds between songs.

The set was only an hour, but easily the most intense hour I've witnessed. Owing to the fact that a) there's only two of them so nobody gets a rest, and b) they attack their instruments, I believe "blistering" would be an appropriate word to use. I read a review/article about how the drummer plays "like the drums just stole his mother's purse." Well, tonight the drums and guitar were in cahoots stealing mom's purse, running over the dog, and insulting the sister.

I am also jealous of Dan Auerbach's hair, because it's very nice and you know damn well the guy does nothing with it. Shampoo is probably a rarity, as is a comb. And I applaud Patrick's sock choice. If you're going to pull up one pantleg so it does not interfere with the kick drum, dark socks are a good choice, particularly in a complimentary color to one's Chucks. Well played. (Ok, I admit it. The drummer is my favorite of the two.)

Musically it pays to see The Black Keys live, given that distortion (lovely, lovely loud distortion) doesn't come through on a record. Even the most precisely engineered albums, and theirs are far from it thankfully, can't get that feel just right. If you like them, go to see them. It also reinforces the fact that they're 27. Dan singing sounds like a large 40-something African-American man who drinks whisky every day for breakfast. Technically, the drummer gets all the glory. While the guitar is done very well, drummer boy just about levitates off his seat while playing an array of items. He gets the variety, and it is exceptional.

And finally, tonight's set list = a happy me. They played about four songs of the new record (the one they're supposedly touring in support of) and a good 1/4 of The Big Come Up , their first record and still my favorite, and another 1/3 to 1/2 of Thickfreakness. And a little something off Rubber Factory, of course.

Wednesday the 1st - The Obligatory Post Where I Gush About The Decemberists Show

First. I'd like to say that I'd love to be about 4 inches taller so I could see while amongst the masses at the Electric Factory.

Second. Even though it's a general admission show, this does not excuse rudeness. No pushing.

Third. My top concert etiquette pet peeve - the yelling out of requests. Shut up. There is such thing as a set list, jackass. All those instrument switches are carefully planned and choreographed. And even if they're not, it's incredibly rude. Stop it. And specially stop with the "Freebird" bullshit. (Hmph.)

Ok, so it was a typically outrageously fun show, complete with a reenactment of the Charge of the Light Brigade. No, really. They played everything off The Crane Wife except "Summersong" and "When the War Came" (which I really wanted to hear) and a smattering of stuff off all their other albums. This lead to a face off between the left and right sides of the audience (and a short soliloquy a la West Side Story about how once you're a Jet, you're always a Jet even after you wear out your last pair of Clarks). On "16 Military Wives" we were asked to assist with the "la di da di da" parts (Decemberists shows are very interactive, you can't just stand there and listen). An imaginary pit of snakes divided the crowd (Colin: "You have to stay on your side. Oops. You just fell in to the pit of snakes. You're dead.") and we were instructed to sneer and growl at the opposing side while trying to out "la di da di da" them. During the mind-blowing Perfect Crime #2 (extended to a 15 minute version) we were advised "Ladies and Gentlemen, if you were using your time wisely, you'd be having a dance contest now." So the first ever Decemberists Dance Contest was held, though I was too far away to participate. The inclusion of "Legionnaires Lament" was a nice surprize, as was "Red Right Ankle". And the kinda awkward rendition of "Take It To the Limit" done with Lavender Diamond (who opened and I would not like to hear ever again. The is the second pretty bad L.A. based folk band I've seen open for the Decemberists. Maybe I'm just missing something with these choices.)

Didn't get home too late (11:45) and work didn't suck too hard today. Now to rest up for Saturday's show (which I imagine will be a bit louder and perhaps a slightly different crowd.)

peace, love, and hipsters...