Friday, June 8, 2007

Architecture in Helsinki/ Santogold/ Black Moth Super Rainbow

Wow. What an incredibly fun show. The first opening band, Black Moth Super Rainbow weren't so much really my thing, but the background video they projected during their performance was really entertaining. The lead singer sat on the stage using a vocal decoder to continuously modify his voice throughout, adjusting from one robotic tone to another. The rest of the band stood behind him, playing a style of full band electronica that could be compared to a more psychedelic Kid A era Radiohead. Don't get me wrong though, they certainly weren't that good. I think they might be interesting on record, so I'm going to give that a chance. I skimmed through some of their songs before the show, and one that stuck out was "Sun Lips." I'm listening again now and it's very good. I like how there's a strange sense of life in the vocals, a contrast to how dead and empty effect-laden can be. It's pretty catchy too.

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Sun Lips

The next act Santogold was a great warm-up for AIH. It's practically impossible to describe her without bringing up comparisons to M.I.A. Frankly, she's a lot like M.I.A. 90% of her set was with a band and was less electonic based, but the last two songs which were beat heavy were still the highlights. It was one of those experiences where the majority of the crowd is unfamiliar with the artist, yet there's 5 or so hardcore fans there who know practially all the lyrics. During her last song "Creator" (which was easily her best of the night) she invited two fans that were really into the performance on stage. A security guard who was either a) didn't see the "invite" part or b) was just a dickbag swarmed the two and literally threw them outside. Half of Architecture in Helsinki who were watching the set from the side of the stage rushed outside to help relieve the situation. The two were let back in and were allowed to hang backstage with Santogold. I think they were back there for AIH's entire set. She was very gracious regarding their return as was the crowd. Happiness was abound.

Santogold - Creator

Architecture in Helsinki were fantastic. Their energy was remarkable and apart from the two drummers, each member switched instruments a number of times. The setlist was a good mix between their upcoming album and In Case we Die, though they did do "Spring 2008" from their first album Fingers Crossed, a song which has had a recent commercial affair. All the heavyweights on In Case we Die were played, including "Neverevereverdid," "It's 5," "Maybe You Can Owe Me," "Do the Whirlwind," "The Cemetery, " "Frenchy, I'm Faking" and my personal favorite "Wishbone." I would have liked to hear "Tiny Paintings" and more from Fingers Crossed, but you can't have it all. The new material was fantastic live, with the new single "Heart it Races" closing the show and also providing the biggest crowd reaction of all.

The crowd could not have been better for this show. They were into the music, but not too into it, responsive but not heckling and best of all were all smiley and having a great time. Seriously...I'm a huge fan of these 18+ shows. The band was a fan of us as well, and Kellie sincerely said "It's shows like this that make us want to play forever." After the show the band headed over to their merch table to personally sell shirts, cds and records. I was pleasantly surprised by this, as while this is common practice by smaller opening bands it's a rare sight for headliners. Maybe you'll sometimes get the headlining band's drummer at the table, but the full band is next to never. I bought a "Heat it Races" 7-inch and various members signed it for me. They were all very cheerful and gracious, just the way you'd hope they'd be, even granting us a friendly "See you guys later!" as we left. Thanks Architecture in Helsinki. I now love your band more than ever. Don't miss these guys if you have an opportunity to see them.

More AIH Pictures

The AIH song I'll use for this entry is alternate version of "It's 5" from last years limited edition Tour EP that they sold while on the road with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Takka Takka. Clap's drummer was actually at our show, as the band played a city festival yesterday. This version of the song is more subdued than the album take (without handclaps and drums.) Instrument wise there's actually only keyboard, acoustic guitar and what sounds like it might be a recorder though I could be wrong. Still it's fun to hear the song presented in a manner where the vocals carry it more so than than instruments.

Architecture in Helsinki - It's 5! (Alt. Version)

I'll finish this entry with the music video for "Heart it Races." If you can find me a better music video this year, I won't believe you.

And now a very very unoffical video for "It's 5." Oh jeez... you'll laugh, feel a little bad for laughing and then laugh even harder than you were before. These guys can bust a serious move.

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