Thursday, March 16, 2006

Arctic Monkeys plus the Spinto Band (13-Mar-2006)

This was the first rock show I have been to in ages. In fact I can’t remember the last one I went to. Last time I went to the Great American Music Hall they had seats downstairs and it wasn’t much fun. But for this gig it was standing room only and a full capacity crowd. As far as I could tell I was not the oldest person there but most of the crowd were young with a good smattering of school age kids.

The Spinto band featured a guy who has been taking lessons form David Byrne in how to throw stuttery shapes on stage. They also had a keyboardist who looked like Jerry Harrison which was good, I am always pleased to see another curly haired person in rock. The band also featured three guitarists which breaks one of my Rules of Rock. The third guitarist seemed to me to a Bez figure as he didn’t contribute much, and this was confirmed when one of the leaders broke a string. No guitar techs for this band as Bez was forced to swap guitars and go off and restring the offending axe. I liked this band. They were poppy in a way that reminded me of Teenage Fanclub. I don’t think a British band would dare to be this enthusiastic and it cheered me.

I was having such a good time that I stayed near the front for the Arctic Monkeys. The band started more or less on time which pleased me as it was already my bedtime. Alex Turner came out wearing a hoodie, and I was shocked when the hood came down to see him sporting a distinctly Paul Wellerish haircut. Everyone (at the front anyway) jumped up and down for the better known songs. I found myself joining in the shouting of the lyrics in football crowd style. Some sound problems wiped out the bass amp for a while and Alex stepped up to perform a new (to me) song accompanied by just his own guitar. Update: this song was the world premiere of Despair In The Departure Lounge.

To be honest I was a little disappointed at how the arrangements of the songs were exactly the same as the recorded versions. Obviously this band is so new that they haven’t yet had time to get bored with their older stuff. But the crowd was into it and I had fun the chanting and the bopping around. Overall I really liked it and am now planning to go to some other gigs this year.

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