We made our way last night to the Tractor Tavern in Ballard to take in the War on Drugs show. The sound was great, the band was great, etc.
Those guys really love what they’re doing, and the swirling, tinkling ambience they coax out of the combination of guitars, a Rhodes, samplers, a backline, and a bass just never sounds wrong.
The openers were Carter Tanton and Purling Hiss. Carter Tanton played tunes that were definitely cut from the same remnants of Technicolor dreamdenim as the headliners, with hints of Baba O’Reilly floating out of the guitar tinkle now and again. My wife described them as sounding a bit like the Cure covering the War on Drugs. Oh, Jesus! I’m feebly gumming rock critic similes! You decide! Purling Hiss was unabashed cock-rocking burnout guitar solo metal and good times.
Coerceyou captures the all the glory the failing 2 megapixel sensor on a shitty cell-phone camera can- Now within actual discernable range!
It is true. On a day within the last range of days I attended the performance of Dan Bejar and his enormous band here in Seattle, in a club, and I was not sitting in an assigned seat. This was one of the very few shows that I’ve seen since getting here that was actually in a club without seats, a show that had an actual crowd standing will-he-nil-he in a room in front of speakers (albeit one that concentrated shoulder to shoulder at lead-like densities waaaay out back on the way to the bathroom, completely confusing those of us up front who were swinging our arms around wildly in an expression of the modern angst of 21st century alienation in the hopes of making even superficial contact with another human being without the aid of ill-fitting prostheses like the email or the iPhone).
Dan Bejar is traveling with a large, talented, and dedicated retinue on this outing in support of his latest record, Kaputt. The saxophonist/floutist alone worked hard enough to earn the ticket price back for the whole band.
One has to wonder, however, under what sort of fear the band works with Dan Bejar to execute live and on a small club stage the very complicated smooth jazz-meets-new-wave vibe of the new LP, as there were few smiles from the rest of the gang.
Perhaps that was just it- they were really trying hard to hit all the marks and put on a fucking amazing show. Mission accomplished, and kudos if that’s all it was. The idea that kept a smile on my face, though, was that Bejar might actually be the eccentric his lyrics portray, that the band may really be working strenuously aviod the oblivion inside the annoyance of Dan Bejar, the artiste. Whatever it was, thanks for coming to town and playing flawlessly through Kaputt, and through a lot of Your Blues, to boot. The show was excellent.
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Openers The War on Drugs brought some much-needed East Coast rock and reverb to the stage, doing that Philly new-psych thing they and all the acts that have split off from them the past few years do so well. Good times all around.