Sunday, April 10, 2005

Law school inside joke #374

I should be reviewing notes, but I'm reviewing concerts. Last night was a great triple bill at the Commodore, and I wanted to get my thoughts down before the ringing in my ears stops and I can once again hear those siren's voices beckoning me to the books.

Maybe it's the overt sexuality of their lyrics, or the fact that the lead singer looks uncannily like legendary axe-man Nigel Tufnel, but Louis XIV is perhaps the closest I will get to seeing Spinal Tap live in concert. For anyone that knows me, this is a dream of mine. (People request hits at concerts, I request "Stonehenge.") They look and sound British, so it's easy to forget these guys are from San Diego - clearly outside the indie boundaries of the O.C. Hearing them tear into the first five notes of "Finding Out True Love is Blind" was a truly amazing moment, guaranteeing that I will see these guys when they hit town again.

Next, the four lads from Northern Albion, the Futureheads. As this region is generally considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, I always picture its denizens as having an impeccable work ethic. Accordingly, the band did not disappoint. Each band member truly plays his heart out - even when lead singer Barry Hyde broke three string in one song, he still managed to pull off a great song. I don't think I would be denying them a compliment if I called them a veritable assembly line of rock. For me, the set highlight coincided with the album highlight, when, on "Hounds of Love," they sing in unison the hilariously cruel line, "take your shoes off / and I will throooooooow them in lake!" Whatever floats your boat in England.

Finally, Hot Hot Heat took the stage to a rapturous crowd. Their set featured a solid mix of new stuff and old stuff. A great aspect about these guys is that every song sounds like a hit single, so there's little chance of disappointing. There were a few technical difficulties with a mic early on, but things came together for their best songs, "Oh Goddammit," "Bandages," and the best track on the new album, "Middle of Nowhere." To boot, Singer Steve Bays also displayed the most assured microphone swinging I've seen since Robert Goulet played Bart's Casino. (Poor, poor Milhouse.)

The set became doubly interesting when the "tide" came in and a wash of crowd surfers managed to land on stage. The bouncer had his hands full grabbing them one after one and leading them to an exit backstage. Not surprisingly, he tired of the routine, and in order to describe his new attitude, I need only direct you law student readers to recall the facts of Bruce v. Coliseum Management. Yeah... ouch.


Anonymous said...

That reminds me, I saw The New Deal a while ago and the keyboard player (who, yes, plays different keyboards at the same time) came out for the second set wearing a Spinal Tap t-shirt. I tried to catch his eye to give him the thumbs-up, but I didn't know if it would be insulting to point to his shirt rather than to him, or for that matter even how to differentiate between the two... His enthusiasm and ecstatic eye-rolling reminded me of Tap's oft-overlooked keys player, though I will say he verged closer to cool than to creepy.


Lawyerlike said...

Ah yes, the immortal Viv Savage.

"Did Viv ever know his keyboards weren't plugged in?"

"Well, when you ask any question that begins with the words, 'Did Viv ever know,' you know what the answer is."