Los Campesinos! @ The Empty Bottle (5/27)

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Mag 28 2008, 21:31

Tue 27 May – Los Campesinos!

I had a blast at the Los Campesinos! show at The Empty Bottle. These guys LOVE to make noise! And I can't tell you how cute they are - not cute in a "bunny rabbit" kind of way, but cute in a "hella talented and gracious" kind of way. Of course it's a bonus that they are from Cardiff, Wales (home of Doctor Who's time rift and Torchwood).

I first heard Los Campesinos! on one of my alternative music channels on Sirius. The song was "You! Me! Dancing!" and it is super catchy so I downloaded it and added it to my playlist. When I noticed Los Campesinos! were coming to town, I was interested in seeing more shows so I got the tickets. In preparation I listed to their songs on Last.fm and became familiar with "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives", "Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)" and "Death to Los Campesinos!"

Even though we didn't get there until 10:15, Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters, the opening act still hadn't played yet. I'm really glad we saw them perform though because they were so unique. At one point he performed a "movie" by speaking poem/song while flipping through a huge, hand-drawn comic book. And later they did a really cool "history of New York punk" by half speaking the history and interspersing clips of the songs.

Soon after Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters finished up Los Campesinos! took the stage to set up their instruments and do a sound check. Los Campesinos! are made up of seven band members and the stage at The Empty Bottle was packed I'm surprised they weren't bumping into each other.

I wasn't all sure of what to expect from the show because their recordings, while catchy, have lots of instruments and tend to be a bit noisy. Would they be more punk? Would they just be a hot mess of clanging instruments? What I got was the personification of the word "cool". For real! When I was walking out of the club after the show, "cool" was the word everyone kept using. And it just was. On the recording Gareth (the lead singer) speaks so fast that I assumed when he performed live it would be just a great big jumble of words. But he as on point for all of them and I left fascinated with wanting to know all the lyrics of all of their songs because they are all just so . . . COOL!

While most of the comments about the band have to deal with Aleksandra's voice (she's the female voice you hear on most recordings), after last night I am absolutely obsessed with Gareth (the lead singer). He is an AMAZING performer! He had so much energy up on stage! I have never been so close to something like that so I was blown away. I think he might have been channeling Joy Division's Ian Curtis at times. I was in complete heaven. I wasn't really even dancing because I was so mesmerized by watching him and all his cool movements.

There was a really good turn out considering their album Hold On Now, Youngster... was only released in this US this past April AND this was the second show of a two-night run at Empty Bottle. Luckily for me I was able to get a great place right up and front so I could take some pictures of the band. (That in itself is harder than it seems because they move fast and the lighting sux.) They also had some really cute t-shirts but for some reason I didn't get one. Lucky for me their stuff is available in their merchandise shop online.

The band played a full set and ALL the songs sounded great! Even when they messed up every now and then which you could tell because they'd giggle. This is one of those bands that you will love more after you see them perform live. I didn't really like "Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)" because it was annoying but now after I've seen it performed live and I was able to feel all of the band's energy as they performed it, I have been won over. And of course I had an amazing time singing along when they finally played "You! Me! Dancing!" and it seemed like the rest of the crowd did too.

Set list:
Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats
Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)
Death to Los Campesinos!
This Is How You Spell "hahaha, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics"
Drop It Doe Eyes
The International Tweexcore Underground
Knee Deep At ATP
My Year in Lists
Frontwards (Pavement cover)
We Are All Accelerated Readers
...And We Exhale And Roll Our Eyes In Unison
You! Me! Dancing!
We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks

Encore: 2007, the Year Punk Broke (My Heart)of the clu

Commenti

  • declension

    indeed. it was a great show. both bands were a lot of fun. i enjoyed that jeffrey lewis sells bootlegs of his own studio albums.

    Mag 29 2008, 5:04
  • licoricepizza

    nice review! they were great at the Troubadour (in West Hollywood) also, this past Saturday. they played a little over an hour, and yeah, Gareth was cool. at one point, stepping off the stage and mingling among the audience as he sang.

    Giu 11 2008, 16:50
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