Yesterday was quite rockin' in the Kenmore/Fenway area of Boston, what with the Death Cab for Cutie and Franz Ferdinand concert at Agganis Arena, the Red Sox game at Fenway, and the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah concert at Avalon, the lattermost of which I was at.
The venue (a dance club) was pretty intimate to begin with, but thanks to a screwup on our part, we arrived really early and as a result got to settle in really really close to the stage, which was AWESOME. We had seats on this sort of riser thing on the side, which meant that we had an unobstructed view of the stage maybe 20 feet away--and we could sit the whole time. A New Zealand band called The Brunettes opened the show, and they were pretty cool. The lead singer looked kind of Katie Holmes (before Tom Cruise took all the appeal out of her) and sounded like Nicole Kidman, accentwise. I thought she was smokin' hot. The band's music reminded me a bit of The B-52s--just a wee bit. It's kind of hard to classify what it is--kinda alternative/indy, I suppose. Quirky, but definitely pretty neat. A couple of the songs were really catchy. And I don't think I've seen a pop/rock/alternative/indy band play so many instruments. I mean, homeboys and homegirls (the band has four guys and two girls) played all sorts of guitars and basses, keyboards, xylophones, glockenspiels, harmonica (the Katie Holmes chick played the shit out of the harmonica!), trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, triangle, banjo, kind of a lute/dulcimer thing, this weird keyboard that is connected to a tube you blow through.... At one point, I started to wonder if they were just sticking random instruments in to set some kind of Guinness World Record! Oh, and the main guitarist dude was kinda hot. Here's a pic of him with the Katie Holmes girl.
And Clap Your Hands totally kicked ass! They're a bunch of really weird looking guys (they look weirder in RL than they do in the linked pic), and they have a really original style; they're kind of an acquired taste. I started listening to them because my man Dan Rad (OMG squee yadayadayada) recc'd them, and at first I was a little weirded out, because the lead singer's voice is...different. It's almost yodel-y at times. But then I really started digging them. They've got a very unique sound, and their lyrics can be pretty damn nifty (especially the lyrics to their single "Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood", which is, in my opinion, a jab at the wretched situation in Iraq).
And they were outstanding live. In particular, their instrumentation was really really excellent. The lead singer just rocked the hell out of his guitar--and made it look like child's play. If you wanna see a video of them, click here to see them playing "Is This Love?" on Letterman. The tall guy playing keyboards in the video was the most showman-y of the bunch. He was just jumping all around with this goofy smile on his face. I totally <3 him! All of their songs were spot on, and the acoustics were pretty good. Watching the lead singer do his thang is really interesting, because he sort of does this head shake when he gets all yodel-y. Very very cool band. I was totally groovin' on my happy little perch off to the side. It was absolutely worth the $15 I paid for the ticket (I know, just $15!) and then some.
They played pretty much every single song off their album, I think. And it was really really cool to be all up close. Clubs are such a great place to see up-and-coming bands. I'm kinda pissed that I didn't do this sort of thing when I was younger, but then again, I don't think the indy scene was nearly as good in my college days as it is now. And I wasn't into it then, either. I was more into rap and R&B, which completely sucks out the ass these days. Well, around four years ago, I did go to the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, where I saw Nikka Costa, Blackalicious, and Spearhead, all three of which were absolutely fantabulous. I have no excuse for the past few years, though; Boston has a pretty damn good indy and club scene, and I should've taken advantage of it more. I'll definitely be more out and about when I move back to DC.
I took pics and will post them at some point (along with the Coldplay pics and the London/Edinburgh pics).
Next stop on Miss Sophia's 2006 concerts o' happiness series: Rufus Wainwright @ Carnegie Hall on June 15! *melt*