Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cold War Kids | Tokyo Police Club | Delta Spirit | Higher Ground | Apr 1st

Yes. That is a keg. And, yes, that's a bass drum being waived in the air in the background. And, yes, that's general bedlam on stage during Cold War Kids' set. However, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

On Sunday night, I caught the trio of bands in the title of this post at Higher Ground. In general, I had a great time during the show but here are a few more specific thoughts about the night:

- I had thought there was just two bands on the bill. So, when I arrived and saw some other band strolling onto stage, my first thought was, "Oh, crap. I gotta wait through these guys." Thankfully, that thought wound up being hideously wrong because I loved Delta Spirit's set. Lots of multiple percussion and off-mic singing from the other band members.

While not anything groundbreaking, it felt passionate and seemed to draw in the rest of the crowd. One guy with a bit of excitement in his voice yelled, "Where are you guys from?" (San Diego was the answer). I ran into Kris Gruen after Delta Spirit's set and we both had the same reaction, "Holy crap! Who the hell were those guys?!?!" Plus, it seems like a bunch of people have had a similar reaction during the tour since they had run out of CDs at the merch table and they aren't even close to being done with the tour.

- By the way, I've since gotten Delta Spirit's EP I Think I've Found It and it isn't as good as their live show. It lacks a lot of the fiery intensity of their live show and comes off more as "run of the mill" pop rock. Not bad; just not as good as their live show. Having said that, their song "Gimme Some Motivation" is pretty damn good.

- What happened to the spinning planet things on the ceiling at Higher Ground? Were they just there for the Sonic Youth show?

- Tokyo Police Club looks really, really, really young; like "high school talent show young". However, despite their facial baby fat, they rocked the house. Their sound was a little thin at first but someone must have tweaked a few knobs and pushed a few slides because from about their third song on, they sound great. They played fairly straight versions of everything but I love those songs so much that I was quite happy. I loved watching their keyboardist hunch over those synths and bang on them with his fists.

- One of the things I like about the evening is that all the bands were coming on stage at different times to play with each other. The Cold War Kids joined Delta Spirit, Delta Spirit joined Tokyo Police Club and all thirteen musicians were on stage during part of The Cold War Kids' set. That fact, along with the similar sound of the three bands, gave the night a feeling of one big music event rather than three bands who happen to all be playing on the same night.

- The Cold War Kids' bass player is kind of a peculiar guy to watch but I couldn't take my eyes off of him. He had this sort of weird stare he'd use when he'd look at the crowd. His face was expressionless but he'd hold his head and eyes perfectly steady and just piercingly stare at people in the crowd. Plus, he never stops moving on stage. It's like watching a cross between Flea and a mental patient.

- The crowd was much larger than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be me and a few thousand square feet of empty floor space. However, there were about 200 people there. Still a small crowd for the big room but at least it didn't feel awkward being there.

- The Cold War Kids blasted through all of the more popular songs off their album Robbers and Cowards in the first half of their set which I though would lead to a lackluster second half but it didn't. About halfway through their set, all the musicians from the first two bands came out on stage to join them for "Saint John". I've never been a big fan of that song but with twelve percussionists bouncing around on stage, it was great entertainment. Here's a video of the scene. As usual with my little Casio, the sound is horrible but it gives you a good view of what was going on.

- CWK also debuted a new song for the first time during the show. called "Brainstorm 3 A.M.". I guess VT is a good place to try out new material on stage for the first time since very few people will see it if you screw it up. I filmed it but the sound quality sucks so bad, it isn't worth posting.

- In a bit of an April Fool's trick, they let the fans clap for a few minutes at the end of the set before turning the house lights on. I was fine with no encore but make the decision quickly. Don't leave people hanging.

- The show posters that they handed out at the end were pretty cool. If anyone wants mine, it's on the top of my fridge. My wife isn't keen on hanging them up in the house. So, if anyone wants it, let me know.

- Oh, and by the way, everyone played their own instruments unlike at the Lindsey Buckingham show across town that night.

Delta Spirit | Gimme Some Motivation | Buy


Rob said...

I agree completely that the highlight of the night was how they kept inter-mingling. The "odd" percussion at different point was great, too. Trash can lid? Grey Goose bottle? Keg? Heck yes.

Peter said...

great show! I was there just taking pictures in the front.