I couldn't believe it, one of my favorite punk bands of all time was playing at the Rock and Roll Hotel last Saturday. Just in case you have been living in a cave for the last 15 years, 4 Non Blondes are perhaps the greatest band to come out of the Bay Area since Starship. I couldn't believe they were playing in a venue the size of the Rock and Roll Hotel, since they had a huge hit with their anthem "What's Up", back in 1992. Needless to say, I was all jacked up to see Linda, Roger, Christa, and Dawn up close and personal.
Imagine my disappointment when we arrived at the venue and found out it was not 4 Non Blondes, but some band from Sheffield, England called The Long Blondes. Since the tickets had already been purchased (good call Jimbromski, I am really glad I paid that $2.50 service fee per ticket...), I reluctantly ventured into to the hotel to see what these Blondes were all about.
We had actually seen The Long Blondes before, about year ago when they played at the same venue. Jimbromski missed that show (I can't remember why exactly...) and it turned out to be one of our favorites of 2007. I think we went in with low expectations which were quickly exceeded. It was a great show, full of energy and the sound was spot on.
Fast forward almost one year and things had changed a bit. I wasn't really enamored with the new Long Blondes album, "Couples" as it reminded me a little bit of Goldfrapp and was a bit too "electronica" for my liking. We actually weren't planning on seeing them again, as we all knew it wouldn't be as good as last year. Potsy and I wanted to go Costanza and end on a high note in regards to The Long Blondes. However, since there really wasn't anything else going on this week (except for Cut Copy, but that's another debacle all together), we opted to give them another go.
The show was pretty much what I expected. They played a number of tracks off their new album, most of which were just okay. The older songs were still pretty good, but there was something missing. I can't quite put a finger on it, but the show felt a little flat. I thought the vocals were lost a little bit in the mix and weren't nearly as powerful as before. The 1/2 full RNR Hotel crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves and there was even a comment by the guitar player that "DC people love to dance".
Not a bad night out, it just didn't live up to their previous engagement. RC Rating 6.0
ETA: We ate at Granville Moore's again before the show. I had some fat mussels with bacon and leeks. Potsy had a lamb steak. We ate a shitload of fries. That place is good.