Saturday, August 23, 2008

the Geeks WERE Right.



Oh the Faint. You are possibly the only band that can make me dance with almost no inhibitions. It's doubtful that anyone will believe that but it's true. I do not understand your choice of openers nor Todd in general but I had so much fun.

I arrived at the Vic last night halfway through the first band's set to find the show was sold out. Thankfully a bit of foresight meant that my ticket was patiently awaiting me at Will Call. After purchasing Blank Wave Arcade on vinyl and a beer (because I didn't pay for my original copy and because I'm halfway to 50 respectively) I entered the venue proper. Perhaps I am too old for such shenanigans but with only a wee bit of maneuvering I was able to make my way to the front row.

The first band was intense. I imagine that during the selection process Dapose calmly put his hands on his hips and laid down the law (because even though he's in the Faint he's really very metal*). Thus Genghis Tron got the spot as the first opener. Like so many other bands, I've heard of, but not actually listened to, Genghis Tron. They are very loud. I've read about bands producing a wall of sound in books that lay out the history of punk rock but now I finally understand what that means. The air was actually vibrating. Thank goodness for earplugs and being old enough to be sensible enough to use them.

The second band was the worst band ever. Ok, not really. According to Wikipedia, Jaguar Love is "an American art punk band from Portland, comprised of former members of The Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves." Some bands seem destined to play basement parties and cramped, smoky bars all their lives and other bands are obviously headed for bigger (though not necessarily better things). Sometimes the difference has more to do with presence than talent. Jaguar Love is the second sort of band, more suited to a small arena tour than opening at the Vic. To be fair, they are clearly very talented and had so much energy and enthusiasm that I felt really bad for not liking them more. It just wasn't my thing.

After the longest set break ever (seriously, the techs spent maybe ten minutes running wires and setting up two keyboards then the stage was deserted for at least 25 min.) the Faint came on. A visual aid is required



because that is how Todd was dressed. It.was.AWESOME. And then he rocked out the whole show in his mad scientist getup (fully buttoned lab coat, big rubber goggles, maniacal twinkle). And I danced because you can't NOT dance to the Faint. Seriously. They played an amazing set and buttered up the crowd by declaring us the best audience ever.

In short order the band worked their way through all their usual crowd pleasing numbers including Hospital and a surprisingly small amount of new tracks. I have a set list because I'm a dork and a few grainy camera phone shots of Joel and Todd (everyone else was way too far away to even bother attempting to capture). Despite the fact that they play dancey-dancey-indie-rock I'm always surprised by how well they actually..er...dance hampered by their instruments.

Even the new songs were awesome and well received.

Confession: I have not spent much time listening to Faciinatiion. The Faint self-released it a couple of weeks ago and it's in a stack of CDs somewhere that I've been meaning to get to when my current Itunes library stops sidetracking me. I'm being sabotaged, for real.

Anyway, my concern was that if not on Saddle Creek their sound may have changed. And I liked them as they were. I think I read somewhere that the choice to not use Saddle Creek was largely financial (digital rights or something, don't quote me) so it shouldn't have been indicative of quality. But then I read several modest and reserved reviews of the album and despite knowing better I began growing apprehensive. Silly me.

End digression. So the show was easily the best I've seen them do and I've seen them four or five times now. Stage banter was kept to a minimum to enable maximum performance time and ease song transitions. I cannot say enough good things about it.

The only bad thing was that security sucked because they were completely ineffective. They got in the way of other participants' dancing and didn't stop the underage drinkers near me. Furthermore, they didn't keep people from crowd surfing (and kicking others in the head) or from jumping on and off stage. What's worse, the one attempt to capture and evict a stage dancer resulted in a massive security man jumping into the audience and knocking over the waif of a girl next to me. What the fuck. He didn't even attempt to help her up (I did, though) despite her being completely sprawled out on the floor in the middle of a pit of dancing. Asshole.

Afterwards, completely sweaty and happy as a clam, I met up with Sarah-Sarah on the Clark bus and we journeyed to the Smartbar to see the Faint do a DJ set (Jacob with assistance from Todd, specifically). He was very good. Because unlike some celebrity DJs he wasn't just running an Itunes playlist. Which is a valid option and can be enjoyable but still). It seemed as though he had pre-created original tracks to mix as he went. So I drank whiskey (best drink special ever) and danced some more. And then an old man started dancing with me but fortunately Sarah-Sarah acted the part of knight errant. And we made it home around 4ish after hitting Taco Hell which is a story for another day. (Key words: hat, primary colors, arts, physics, raspberry iced tea, Son Ambulance).

It was a very nice evening.

*Dapose has a side project called Vverevvolf Grehv (I think it's pronounced Wherewolf Grave-? IDK). It's very kitten core. You'll see what I mean, but I imagine fluffy white cats the world round love these sorts of bands and sing along as though it were a Meow Mix commercial.

**Joel Petersen also has another band which I enjoy a lot. Broken Spindles played Chicago a few months ago and he gave me a button. I have a review of that show to post up later. He seems as focused but more relaxed in the Faint.

1 comment:

SARAH! said...

I am completely disturbed that I have warranted a TAG on your BLOG. What, did I say disturbed? I meant future-modern-cool and also old by pointing it out.