Long live rock, I need it every night

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Frightened Rabbit devours Black Cat

Frightened Rabbit w/ Oxford Collapse and Takka Takka
Black Cat (Backstage)
Monday, June 30th - $10

I can finally - honestly - tell Jimbromski that he missed out on an excellent show. Usually, I am the one who misses out. Succumbing to an earache, Jimbromski had to bail out of last evening's performance. Tsk tsk. It was indeed above average. Although my ears were aching for hours post-show, so maybe it's best he stayed home. Through a steady rain, sacklunch and I made our way to the sold out Black Cat and arrived just in time for the start of the Oxford Collapse set. Sorry Takka Takka.

The backstage was sold out, but I'm not so sure about the main stage... Harry and the Potters headlined upstairs. sacklunch and I checked out the Youtube video the Black Cat had posted for the Harry and the Potters, and I can't see why anyone would go upstairs to see those clowns, unless they got duped into thinking Frightened Rabbit was up there. Seriously. I'm anxious to hear how that show was. Well, that's an overstatement, I don't really care how it was upstairs, I imagine it was shitsandwich.

There was a bit of confusion about last night's show as the website had previously listed Oxford Collapse as the headliner, and that's what it says on my ticket (and how we posted it on our "upcoming shows" list). But the website changed course at some point, and Frightened Rabbit clawed their way to the top and that's how it eventually went down. My favorite blonde-haired Black Cat-lady, Lauren, speculated that perhaps they were co-headlining this tour and they switched last minute. I'm sure someone who has more patience for research will look it up somewhere and confirm or deny this theory.

I had no trouble unloading Jimbromski's ticket, though I should have lied and just pocketed the extra $10, but that'd be bad karma. Anyhow, Oxford Collapse was in-progress when we arrived, and it was a packed Back Stage, so I stood behind the pole. It was like being at the old Nightclub 9:30.

Oxford Collapse were good. I don't know a lot about them, other than what I saw at the Pitchfork festival last summer, but for the most part, I dug what they were putting out. Hey, Jumbo Slice, Malitz was standing in front of me for the OC set, and we traded brief reactions at the end. Both positive. I could have used your loquacity, as all I could offer was that their sound was clumsy at times, but in a good way. Malitz liked that they were ugly, at least uglier than many indie rock bands right now. I have to admit, they look like they put on some weight since Pitchfork... I noticed they weren't rocking the jeanshorts this time, though it was just as fucking hot in the BC as it was in Chicago last July. But while they have a clumsy rock sound, they aren't sloppy by accident. I'm not a OC superfan, so I don't know which song this was, but they have one tune in which all three musicians play in complete discord for ~45 seconds, but stop on a dime. So they were tight when it mattered. Right.

Anyway... The Oxford Collapse talked a bit too much. At one point they broke into a story about eating at Ben's Chili Bowl earlier in the day. "Bill Cosby is the only person who eats for free at Ben's. I read it on a sign there." That's what I learned from the Oxford Collapse. Hey Oxford Collapse, while, yes, I admit that I did not know that little factoid, it's still really fucking rude to waltz into someone else's town waving your Cliff Clavin knowledge all around like you own the place. Save that story for your myspace page. Other than that, solid effort from OC.

As for Frightened Rabbit, I tried to know as little as possible about seeing this band as I could. Here are a few short things I jotted down about them last night:

  • lots of wailing
  • guitarist/keyboardist looked like he hadn't slept....ever
  • they claimed last night was the best night of their collective lives...
So a couple of questions to Jumbo Slice, who caught these two groups in Austin last week...
  1. Who was on top of the bill when you saw them?
  2. Did they also claim that their gig in Austin was the best night of their lives? (If so, I want to out them for disingenuousness).
I wasn't prepared for all the FR superfans that were in attendance. There were a few who were really into it, singing along (sometimes when I'd prefer they didn't - but that's okay), and the tight space, and the enthusiasm of the band made it an exceptionally good backstage show. Had they been upstairs, it would not have been as good.

By the end of the night, I had bought their cd, which I rarely do at these shows. I listened to it when I got home (and as I typed up most of the above). It doesn't really capture what they can do through their live performance. Their live show was inspired and they worked hard. The energy they give out is great. Again the capacity crowd really helped out, but I've never seen intensity like that of drummer Grant Hutchinson. A quote from him in an online interview says it all:
GRANT: People who have seen us several times say it’s almost like the first time we’ve played together, or the first time they’ve seen us. A lot of bands don’t understand it’s their job to makes things exciting. Some people miss that point.

Well said. It's your job man. I paid a whopping $10 and I expect to see you bashing the sticks down like you're Johnny Drama killing VC with the end of his rifle in Platoon.

Oh, I should also mention that Scott Hutchinson claimed that a "Frogman tried to rape me" in the stairwell of the BC. I believe this is the same Frogman from Turkey Balls Fall, WV. He's closing in...


Anonymous said...

dang. rain drove me away last night. i'm sorry i missed the show; sounds awesome.

Jumbo Slice said...

I was holding off on my review b/c I thought Jimbromski were going to duel it our in another edition of Point/Counterpoint. We called FR a Wuss Rock band so I issued the challenge. I feel vindicated by Potsy's review. Although I do wish Jimbromski had made the show. FR deliver.

To answer your two questions:

1. I spoke w/ Scott Hutchinson for a while after their show in Austin. Here's what he when I asked about the order of bands. Oxford Collapse was supposed to headline the tour but it was clear people were leaving after FR. OC approached FR and said they should play last. Very magnanimous, I think. Scott said they were good "mates" w/ OC so it wasn't a big deal for either band.

2. No they did not claim that Austin was the best night of their lives. They seem like pretty honest and forthright dudes.

I have more to share but I'm saving it for my review.

Jumbo Slice said...

Sorry, I never proofread. Let's try that first paragraph again:

I was holding off on my review b/c I thought Jimbromski and I were going to duel it out in another edition of Point/Counterpoint. He called FR a Wuss Rock band so I issued the challenge. I feel vindicated by Potsy's review. Although I do wish Jimbromski had made the show. FR delivers.

Unknown said...

hey, i've got my own blog to maintain, i don't need you clubber kids scooping my own news and views on here.

Steve said...

It rained last night? It was dry when I walked in at 8:45 and dry when I walked out at 11:45. And I was neither drunk nor stoned (sadly). Not sure how I missed that.

lauree said...

great review...It's been amazing to see how quickly the buzz has taken on for FR. I confess to being a fangirl, having seen them twice at sxsw and 3 more times including Monday night's show.

I did my best to not be an annoying superfan, and tried to keep my singing to myself, but it wasn't easy when my friend passed me a pint of beer and a half pint of whiskey.

as far as I can tell from speaking with them along the way, the boys of FR are genuinely thrilled and surprised at the reaction they got this time around.