May 16 2005
The Feist show on Thursday night was great. A very Billy Bragg like performance. It was just her and a guitar on stage bathed in red light. Her voice was amazing and the stripped down set up added a new dimension to some of the songs but she'd definitely do better with a full band behind her (something that I'd imagine is in store for her on future tours), no matter what Central Village says. What the fuck does he know anyway? :)
She was incredibly engaging, very chatty and commanded the audience to sing along or help out on the chorus of some songs. This performance did nothing to change my mind that the world is hers if she is marketed and promoted correctly. The show she performed, that had a crowd of indie hipsters (including She's Bitter, Andrew Squidpants, Skunkeye and L Boogie) eating out of her hand, would work just as well on Norah Jones fans or even my Mom.
I didn;t get any usable pictures from the performance (stupid Black Cat lighting), but She's Bitter has some at the link above as well as some short video clips. Oh, and British Sea Power SUUUUUUUUUUCKED.
But as good as Feist was, the Echo & The Bunnymen show on Friday was even better. Ten times so in fact. The Bunnymen were doing a (very) short East Coast tour leading up to their performance at this week's HFStival. I had seen them just once before, at Roseland in 1997 in support of their criminally underrated album Evergreen. I was still a new fan back then, not really familiar with their back catalog or anything other than Lips Like Sugar and Bring On The Dancing Horses.
I won't say I had low expectations for this show, (since I didn't remember much about their 1997 show); I really didn't have any expectations at all. Especially since they were playing Lancaster, PA of all places. But I've been in a serious Bunnymen phase lately and there was no way I would pass up this gig, so off I went with Miss Gl*mrocker in tow.
The Chameleon Club was much nicer than you would expect for a town in the middle of Amish country. And unbeknownst to me, Lancaster must be a nice little tour stop because bands like Hot Hot Heat and a few others are coming through town very soon. The room was long and thing, with a nice stage and a few risers in the back so people in the rear of the room can still see. The crowd was strange (as it always is at shows like this). It's always weird when I am one of the youngest poeple at a show.
We went up to the bar and got a Yuengling and vodka/cran. The total for our round? $6. Not too shabby. Then we copped a spot on the front part of the rear riser and marveled at our insanely great vantage point. We had a straight, eye level view of the stage.
Soon after the band came out and launched into two older, upbeat songs that I wasn't familiar with before absolutely tearing into Rescue and Seven Seas. Those last two just knocked me on my ass. The band was in top form and were absolutely killing it. The rest of the set was heavy on the hits and the night was all the better because of it. Ian MacCulloch was in fine form. It occurred to me during the show that he is the prototypical Liam. Attitude to spare, cool as fuck, great hair, tall and takes no shit. He also does the mumbley in between songs thing as well as anyone. Guitarist Will Sergeant is so, so underrated. His licks don't blow you away or overpower the songs, but they do an amazing job of filling in the crevices and sparkling exactly when and where they should. They played a beefed up version of The Cutter (not one of my favorite Bunnymen tunes mind you) that was easily ready for Giants Stadium and followed with a stripped down version of The Killing Moon that convinced me Richard Kelly is an idiot for opting to go with INXS instead. It's all I can do to not go to Tower Records right now and buy The Bunnymen boxset. There were a few songs I wanted to hear that got left out of the set (it wouldn't be an ILB concert review if I didn't complain about the set) like Read It In Books and Over The Wall, but we were treated to amazing versions of Nothing Lasts Forever, Zimbo and Ocean Rain.
As tinny and small as they sometimes sound on record, they sounded big and full of bollocks live. Almost exact opposites. Seeing this show clued me in on why The Bunnymen were once toe to toe with U2 for biggest band in the world bragging rights. It was that good and so were they. There are some amazing shows coming through town in the next month or so but any of those bands are going to have a hard time topping this show, which is the current front runner for best show of the year. Oh, and no photos from that show either as the club had a no camera policy.
New Mr. Pink photos for those of you that can't get enough. Sundays are always a good days for cat pictures because I'm usually around when it's nap time. Yes, I'm a dork.
Boo! Oasis took out Headshrinker and added (gag) Little By Little in Edinborough. Seriously Noel, get a clue.
Peep the Gorillaz toys that will be released at the same time as the new record:
Why does David Stern insist on starting the best playoff game of the weekend at 9:30 PM on an fucking Sunday?
**Update** Apparently they had to cut short the HFstival set because of Mac's voice. Glad I stayed away on Saturday!
i'm going to have to disagree here; much better without the band!
Posted by: shesbitter at May 16, 2005 7:09 PM
I dunno man...Check her with a band and see for yourself. I think she is brilliant on her own, but the band kind of blands everything up.
That being said, I know very very little. She said she'd be back with the band next time over the summer, so we'll just have to wait and see, won't we :)
Posted by: Jeff at May 16, 2005 11:23 PM
wow, that echo gig sounds incredibly wunderfull.
oh yay! my very own murdoch and 2-D dolls! yay!!!
thanks for more mr. pink pics too.
Posted by: melina at May 17, 2005 2:24 PM