I saw Frightened Rabbit on Friday night at the First Unitarian Church. They were opening for Spinto Band for whom the night was serving as their official CD release but I tell you, most of the people there had come out to see this threesome from Scotland.
As I am newish to formally reviewing shows I'm not sure if I can capture how spectacular this show was. So I'll just start from the beginning. The sound was a little wonky to start, it is the basement of a church after all*, but after they got that balanced the boys glistened.
Their post punk influence is much more apparent when you see them live and can really feel the driving bass drum and see the way these fellas rock out together. I can't tell you how much a true connection and balance of talent/musical understanding contributes to a live show. They played stuff off of their new album The Midnight Organ Fight as well as their freshly released live album Liver! Lung! FR! both of which should be purchased by you all post haste. Highlights were
•The Modern Leper which is probably the best song written with references to Leperosy and when played live have an energy the isn't on the album (but is still a valid tune)when the rhythm is pumped up a bit more you really feel the drive of this song.
The Modern Leper
•Old Old Fashioned which is the kind of tune you wish your friends who are in band would have written so if anything you had one reason to go to their shows. The lyrics to this song are grand and made for a good sing along with the crowd.
Old Old Fashioned
• They closed with Keep Yourself Warm which is the song that first grabbed my attention months ago. It is a gem of an honest relationship song and really tied things up very nicely. There is something about the singing "It takes more than fucking someone to keep yourself warm" in a room with a bunch a strangers in the mess hall of a church that has a delicious irony.
Keep Yourself Warm
If they had played Backwards Walk it might have been too good to be true and now I have real motive for seeking them out when they come back through the East as headliners this winter. The crowd wanted more after they left the stage and stood around makin noise for a while but FR didn't return to the stage. I was standing by the sound board at this point and their manager came back to let the guy know they weren't coming back out (despite the fact that EVERYONE there was bowled over by them and wanting to see what else they could put out there) because, he said, they (FR) didn't want to steal Spinto's glory at their release show a far more endearing end than any encore could have provided. Well played guys.
It would be well worth your money to see Frightened Rabbit when/if they come through your town.
* One of the reasons I so love this city they have some fabulously unique venues. Besides First Unitarian Johnny Brenda's is an old dance hall and the Trocadero is an old Chinese theater.
Frighten Rabbit on Myspace