Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Asobi Seksu | Higher Ground | Feb 25th

Before I left for Sunday night's Asobi Seksu show at Higher Ground, I was giving my son a bath and listening to Asobi Seksu's blistering dream pop extravaganza Citrus. I asked him if he liked it. He said, "Yeh. It sounds like rock and roll." Truer words haven't been spoken.

I arrived after Wax on Radio and left before The Ataris hit the stage. I was just there to see the folks from NYC. Due to it being Oscars night, I was afraid of finding a tiny crowd in the room. However, while it wasn't packed there seemed to be over a hundred people there which is much better than I was expecting.

Knowing I wanted the Maxell effect from their sonic whirlwind, I took a spot up close to the stage. When I got up there I found a crowd of about twenty sorority girls. Not exactly the crowd I was expecting to find pushed up against the stage for a Japanese-American shoegaze. But I didn't care. They were all about five foot nothing so my view was clear.
I had never seen Asobi Seksu live before so I wasn't sure if they were able to recreate their swirling layers of feedback and pop hooks in concert. Maybe it was all production room trickery. I had no idea what to expect and I've seen plenty of bands lay duds on stage with flat performances of songs off otherwise stellar albums.

However, to my great joy, Asobi Seksu went the other direction. From the first moments to the last ringing tones, their songs popped; even beyond what they had captured in the studio. They completely created and controlled the throbbing wall of sound while never missing a single hook. They even nailed the Phil Spector inspired hooks on "Strawberries" which I had been convinced was a studio engineered moment. It was phenomenal. At one point, I felt like yelling out "Holy Shit!" like some guy did during an early Arcade Fire performance that Brad of Bradley's Almanac had posted. I was just amazed by what I was hearing.
Did I mention the immediate crush I developed for Yuki? So cute and she rocks that keyboard. And that voice of hers perfectly cuts through the heavy aural haze. I have no idea what she's ever saying but I don't care. It's all about the tone and bounce of her voice.

As I was driving home, the thing I kept thinking about was how so many people had attended and loved the Sonic Youth show the previous Sunday but missed the Asobi Seksu show this week. It was a great opportunity to catch a similar band at the peak of their career rather than waiting till 2020 for the reunion tour.


Brad said...

Ok, so now i'm even MORE excited for tomorrow night.

Bobby Carlton said...

I booked Asobi Seksu at Kings Tavern in Saratoga Springs, NY a couple of years ago with a band called The List Exist as the opener. That show was the BEST show I've ever put together.

Flatlander said...

Brad, I'm glad to hear you are going to the show because that means we all get to hear it in a few weeks. I might be lucky enough to get a copy of the Higher Ground show too.

Bobby, was that really the name of the opening band? Wow. I hope they were good because that name stumbles right out of the blocks.

Bob F. said...

Told ya so.

Always amazing.

cj howareya said...

Jealous. As. Fuck.

(Great review)