Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Concert Review--The (International) Noise Conpiracy w/ crappy opening acts

Opening Acts

something Hotel
Their name doesn't actually start with "something,' but instead something pretentiously fake-artistic like "starlight" or some such nonsense. The set could best be described as high-school garage band, but without rehearsals. Not that I have anything against high schoolers or garage bands, but too many people these days hear the frenetic chaos of good bands and assume that they can just pick up instruments and do that. But the cranky old man in me would like to point out that it actually takes a great deal of talent to make chaotic music that sounds good. These people did not make music that sounded good...they made music that sounded like they've never rehearsed, which for their sake, I hope is true. The kind of band that makes you angrily shout "I paid 12 goddamned dollars for this ticket and 3 fucking dollars for a can of PBR for this?!?"
Final opinion: Avoid at all costs.

The Fever
A great improvement from the previous act, but that's really not saying much of anything. Although they had some high points, they seem to have confused having a well-defined sound and making every song sound the same. You know, like the way the Red Hot Chili Peppers always have a ballad about California on every record that could be interchanged with their ballad about California from any other record without anyone noticing. Is it laziness or lack of talent? The world may never know. But despite the fact that it was difficult to discern one song from the next, they were high energy and inventive enough to warrant an opening slot.
Final Opinion: If it's less than $5 to see them, there are worse ways to spend an evening.

The (International) Noise Conspiracy

These guys are so rediculously high-energy live, that I'm convinced you would love their show even if you don't enjoy their music. A good mix of old favorites and cuts from the new-ish LP. But most spectacular is the way the band grooves. Dennis is such a trip dancing and singing all over the place, he can only be described as the James Brown of neo-pre-punk. The only downside were the several dozen times Inge nearly hit me in the face with his bass, but such are the hazrads of crowding as close to the stage as possible. Highlights include an angry rant about Subway's expansion into Sweeden, and Dennis giving me his water bottle after the show. Talk about swag--the posession of that will certainely impress anywhere between 2 and 3 of my friends.

As for the music itself, (I)NC is one of the few bands (such as the Mars Volta) that actually sounds much better live. For instance, with the purchase of their latest LP they gave a 5 song EP recorded live in L.A. at a suprise show they did. Any friend of mine can tell you of my reactionary hatred for all live albulms, but they manage to pull it off without sounding too rediculous. Their music has progressed from a bit on the dour side to much more upbeat and happy, reflecting their commitment to making a revolution of culture as well as politics . What other band can sing a love song about making "revolutionary babies" without sounding stupid? Not too many.

However, my personal highlight of the eve would have to be during the encore when they came back out and blazed through a scorching version of "Capitalism Stole My Virginity." I was freaking out to a pretty rediculous degree, because it's not only my favorite song of theirs, but also because I used to spend my free time in college running around campus late at night wheat-pasting up posters with that slogan on them. Anyway, Dennis must have noted my love for the song, because he bent down, handed me the mic, and let me sing the chorus. Now, I have to explain that I come from the middle of nowhere, where nothing even resembling a band ever comes through. As such, it's a big thing for people like me when we get near someone famous. (I kid you not; once Harrison Ford's private jet had to make an emergency landing in my hometown over a weekend. Banner headline on saturday's paper: Harrison Ford in Fort Dodge. Sunday's headline: Harrison Ford still in Fort Dodge. So you can see how much this kind of thing means to people like us). On second thought, you probably have to be me to understand, but there really is nothing better than getting to hop on the mic at a show of one of your most favorite bands.
Final Opinion: Even if you have to go to Sweeden to see them, it's worth it.

So that's it for now. The Coup with I Self Divine this friday night...and big city life just keeps on getting better.

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