Foals @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 10/2, A Frames @ Cake Shop 10/8
Before we dive into the CMJ coverage, it seemed like a good time to (finally) reflect on two great shows I saw earlier in the month. Both are bands signed to the Sub Pop label, but that is where their similarities end. Let’s start with Foals.
A UK-based band, Foals came onto the scene with their mathy-prog debut Antidotes in 2008. Their follow-up, Total Life Forever, which I have already praised on this blog several times, came out this year to much critical acclaim. It is a much less mathy take on indie-rock, less influenced by bands like Q & Not U and more influenced by post-rock bands of the late 90’s/early 00’s. Their live show featured a great mix of both records, and was an extremely lively and entertaining affair.
The band was constantly moving on stage; vocalist/guitarist Yannis Philippakis was the most active. He bounded around the stage energetically, stopping at points to play guitar or to jump on top of the stack of speakers at either side.
The fans, as you can tell from the above photo, fed off of the energy exuded by the band, almost to the point of delirium. And there was much to be excited about. The set list included songs from Antidotes (“Cassius,” “The French Open,” “Balloons”) and from Total Life Forever (“Spanish Sahara,” “Miami,” “Total Life Forever”).
We actually had a great view, because Yannis decided to hang from a bar right above where my friends and I were standing. It was very up close and personal, which we loved. He did fall right on top of a girl standing next to us, but gave her a big hug afterwards. The band then invited everyone up on stage to dance for their last song. A very good Saturday night had by all.
Next weekend, my boyfriend and I saw Seattle post-punk/noise-rock band The A Frames at Cake Shop. Because they don’t tour much, and haven’t put out an album in several years, we were extra-excited to see them. Aside from a vinyl comp, 333, that they released this July, nothing has come out since the epic Black Forest in 2005.
Unfortunately, they didn’t go on until almost an hour after they were scheduled. Because my boyfriend and I are full-time workers/students, a show at 12:30 AM on a weeknight was taxing. They were, however, fantastic for the 35 minutes we did manage to stay for. They played a bunch of songs from their debut self-titled album, and from the follow-up (A-Frames 2) including “Surveillance Camera” and “Chemical”.
Because of the layout of Cake Shop, I wasn’t able to get great photos, so I had to borrow from Sub Pop. This photo feels pretty accurate of their vibe the night of the Cake Shop show. Everything was remarkably tight, and as the night went on, and the drinks flowed, the band got a little looser. Because of our exhaustion, we couldn’t stay long enough to hear the entire set, but we can only hope that they played some of our favorites from Black Forest. If the A Frames ever come through your town, and you’re into post-punk and/or noise rock, be sure to catch them live.
[My boyfriend’s comments: openers Pop. 1280 were excellent and he wants “Surveillance Camera” to be the song we dance to at our wedding.]