I’ve had a cough for a couple weeks now. About half the time I cough (and yes, I do turn my head, less so to be polite, more so just to get lucky) I’m pretty sure I’m coughing out smoke balls from the Drums show at the Varsity. Definitely a great show full of all the the trappings of the 80’s (a good thing, I would say). The aforementioned fog machine, so dense at times you could barely see the Drums’ singer, much less the players on the side, some heavy duty lasers (I wonder if complimentary Lasik procedures become part of their tour), and bass heavy throbbing georgio moroder like disco beats all combined to create a quite memorable show. The ICC commented on how different the live show was from the debut album (and earlier ep) and I’d have to agree, but I dig both equally well. (perhaps the sound of the live show had something to do with the guitarist for the band leaving shortly before they hit Minneapolis, although live, they sound a lot more like leader, Jonathan Pierce’s previous group, Elkland. Whatever it was, it was definitely working and I really loved the show and was sorry that the set was so short. Pretty much every song (again, less surf beat than the album and more love to love you baby arrangements) was a highlight, but if you held a strobe light to my head, I’d have to say “Skippin’ Town”, “It Will End in Tears” “Book of Stories” (personal fav) and “Let’s Go Surfing” were highlights. I really can’t wait to see these guys again.
Surfer Blood (ostensibly the headliner) were a bit of a surprise. I guess I should read news clippings, because I had no idea the band leader was a 12 year old boy.
Ok, I exaggerate. He was 15.
Ok, So he was probably legal, but looked younger (portrait. Closet. Just saying)
Sure “Swim” is the hit, but the album is pretty good (albeit in a post grunge-alterna rock kind of pose) and they did a great job adding just the right amount of spice and muscle to the live presentation. Maybe paled a little bit after The Drums (not sure they were the right fit musically with the drums and I was suffering a little bit of a musical induced comedown) but they tore through their set with energy and intensity (although the album is a little too mid-tempo-ey) and had me on my toe tips as well (and not because I was trying to look over anyone, the show was sadly, quite sparsely attended). “Harmonix” “Take It Easy” and “Twin Peaks”, my favs from the disc, were my favs from the show. Good one though and another band to keep an eye on.