Live Shows: Part 1

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24. Okt. 2009, 1:02

Tuesday, 25 November 2008 – The Subways (with Twin Atlantic and The Swiines)
Rock City, Nottingham

I had heard good things about The Subways in a live setting, but I didn't anticipate how awesome it would actually be. I had the perfect view of the stage on the balcony, and while I still had a super time having a conservative vantage point, a small part of me wished I was down there on the floor with everyone else. All the band members were so lively and energetic, especially frontman Billy Lunn, and the crowd were fantastic, moshing and shouting out so much of the lyrics. I was surprised by how much they knew--for example, they sang the verses of "Mary". I imagine that must be one of the biggest compliments you can receive during a gig. I loved hearing "I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say", probably the best song of the night, though the aforementioned "Mary", "Turnaround", and "Oh Yeah" were almost as memorable. During the encore ("Rock & Roll Queen"), after pumping up the crowd to insane levels, Billy scaled the massive speakers, dived into the crowd, and surfed--not once, but twice. The show was incredibly loud, too. My ears wouldn't stop ringing for hours afterwards.

Setlist:

Kalifornia
Young for Eternity
Oh Yeah
All Or Nothing
Alright
Mary
Always Tomorrow
Shake! Shake!
I Won't Let You Down
I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say
Turnaround
Lines of Light
This Is The Club For People Who Hate People
---
Lostboy
Strawberry Blonde
Girls & Boys
Rock & Roll Queen


Saturday, 27 June 2009 – Silversun Pickups (with Animal Kingdom and An Horse)
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Despite having a terrible name, warm-up An Horse made a good impression on me. The songs were generic, but it was fun watching them perform. They certainly exceeded my expectations. Unfortunately, it was the opposite for the Silversun Pickups. I found them to be disappointing after enjoying The Subways so much. The people near the front seemed to have a good time, but I didn't think the band had enough presence on stage, with the exception of Brian Aubert, the lead singer. Things started out promising enough with decent performances of "Growing Old Is Getting Old" and "Well Thought Out Twinkles", but my interest quickly faded up until the final three songs. The fact that the majority of the tracks were from Swoon, an album which I found to be a bit on the mediocre side, probably didn't help matters. Tickets were cheap, so ultimately it was worth going, but it was rather forgettable aside from totally awesome performances of "Lazy Eye" (worth the ticket price right there) and the encore, "Common Reactor". "Panic Switch" was the best on the night from Swoon.

Setlist:

Growing Old Is Getting Old
Well Thought Out Twinkles
There's No Secrets This Year
The Royal We
Little Lover's So Polite
It's Nice To Know You Work Alone
Future Foe Scenarios
Sort Of
Kissing Families
Panic Switch
Lazy Eye
---
Common Reactor


Thursday, 10 September 2009 – Okkervil River (with Dawn Landes)
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

I surprisingly had an incredible night. Singer-songwriter Dawn Landes was a great opening act, so much so that I actually remembered the tunes to some of her individual tracks such as "Wandering Eye". And while the Silversun Pickups made me less of a fan after seeing them live, Okkervil River did the complete opposite. They were even more awesome, and afterwards, I felt compelled to check out the rest of their earlier albums which I had previously neglected. Primarily playing from their three most recent LPs, the band knew how to get the crowd going. So many of the songs were fantastic to hear, including "For Real", one of my personal highlights, and the one-two punch of "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe" and "Unless It's Kicks" towards the end. Even during the slow ballads like "A Stone" and rare track "Love to a Monster", frontman Will Sheff had enough charisma to keep the audience engaged, while the crowd sing-along to the climax of the encore song "Westfall" was insanely brilliant. I was on the front row, headbanging through the upbeat tracks. In fact, someone unwittingly took a pic of the back of my head.

Setlist:

A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene
Singer Songwriter
Black
The Latest Toughs
A Girl in Port
Pop Lie
A Stone
John Allyn Smith Sails
For Real
Lost Coastlines
Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe
Unless It's Kicks
---
Love to a Monster
Last Love Song For Now
Westfall


Wednesday, 21 October 2009 – Los Campesinos! (with Copy Halo and Sparky Deathcap)
The Kasbah, Coventry

One of my favourite bands at the time, they had a lot to live up to, and they didn't disappoint. I ended up standing in the second row in front of Harriet, Neil, and Ellen. Rob Taylor--or Sparky Deathcap as he is known musically--was a temporary eighth Los Campesinos! member for the tour, apparently allowing Gareth a little more freedom on stage (being the first time seeing them, I couldn't make any comparisons). The setlist had five new songs from their upcoming third album sprinkled in, which all sounded cool, particularly "The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future". The crowd were in magnificent form, chanting the more well-known lyrics to their classics--I especially loved it during the chorus of "You! Me! Dancing!" and the final lines of epic closer "Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks"--and holding up their fingers during "My Year in Lists" and "Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks". The latter also saw Gareth jumping over the barrier and enter the crowd, as well as bassist Tom crowd-surfing. Not long before that, the band played my personal favourite, "We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed", which I was absolutely chuffed about. But, the highlight of the night was when I met and got my band T-shirt signed by Gareth minutes after the show ended. A nice and down-to-earth bloke.

Setlist:

You'll Need Those Fingers for Crossing
Death to Los Campesinos!
Miserabilia
This Is How You Spell "hahaha, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics"
Romance Is Boring
Ways to Make It Through the Wall
A Heat Rash In the Shape of the Show Me State; or, Letters from Me to Charlotte
My Year in Lists
Knee Deep At ATP
There Are Listed Buildings
Who Fell Asleep In
You! Me! Dancing!
We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks


Thursday, 21 January 2010 – Future of the Left (with That Fucking Tank and Yanni Montoya
The Bodega Social Club, Nottingham

Some negatives: the venue was ridiculously tiny (not a fault per se, but it surprised me), and the crowd was overwhelmingly disappointing. So many people near the front stood there like statues despite the high-energy songs that were coming from the stage. Beforehand, I was expecting people to jump around like crazy, but that wasn't the case. I didn't get how hard it could have been to at the very least nod your head. And there were plenty of potential classic sing-along moments, yet the majority were content on being mere spectators. Things started fine with quite a few people shouting out "come on, Rick!" in "Arming Eritrea", but it didn't last. Maybe the lack of enthusiasm was because the room wasn't that large. Either way, it was still a huge downer. At one point, lead vocalist Andy Falkous joked by sarcastically calling the crowd great, but I got the slight feeling he might have meant it.

However, there were plenty of positives. A few people were moshing near the stage, which was cool to see, and there was occasionally banter between the band and crowd in-between songs. For example, Falkous had a light-hearted dig at the front row, calling them "greedy" for taking up the best spots and suggested for them to swap with the folks at the back halfway through the gig. The band were great too, always lively and up for it, despite the subdued crowd. They played seven tracks from their debut and seven from their sophomore, so it was an even split. "Arming Eritrea", "Manchasm", and "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You" seemed to evoke the most reaction from the crowd, though that's not really saying much. The final song, an unreleased track called "Cloak the Dagger" was a bit crazy, with the bassist climbing onto the bar and the frontman dismantling the drumset while the drummer was still playing. It was a great way to end the night, which was let down by the people who turned up.

Setlist:

Arming Eritrea
Chin Music
Wrigley Scott
Plague of Onces
Small Bones Small Bodies
Manchasm
You Need Satan More Than He Needs You
Stand by Your Manatee
Land of My Formers
Fingers Become Thumbs
Yin / Post-Yin
My Gymnastic Past
adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood
The Hope That Hope Built
Cloak The Dagger

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