Friday, June 17, 2005

Let's Have a Ball (based on coolness factor alone).
Pixies/Interpol/LCD Soundsystem @ Jones Beach, Long Island June 14, 2005
by Shannon Ronan

Okay, so I probably shouldn't have shunned those extra squirts of bug spray. And I shouldn't have assumed that the breeze off the water might create enough of a chill to make dragging around a sweaty cardigan sweater seem practical. And surely, I should have spent less time leisurely sipping vanilla vodka and cola in the parking lot and more time rocking out to the seemingly dance-worthy beats of LCD Soundsystem.

Still, after making my way through the obnoxious barrage of gigantic Tommy Hilfiger logos and the masses of red and black clad pre-teens, I reached my seat just as Interpol had taken the stage, easing me gently into my summer concert life with a delicate yet heartfelt rendition of "Next Exit". Honestly, they pretty immediately garnered my undivided attention based on coolness factor alone, failing to miss a single note while at least three band members simultaneously smoked cigarettes mid-song. It was more likely the hypnotic effect of the nostalgic but never overly sappy nature of the songs themselves that truly won me over. Having never before seen the band perform, I was thrilled to indulge in personal favorites such as "Obstacle 1" and "Leif Erikson" and though I may have rolled my eyes ever so slightly, I even secretly enjoyed "Slow Hands" and "Evil". The thing is, that when the opening band, primarily made up of a bunch of baby-faced scenesters possesses more stage presence than the headlining act, you realize Interpol is probably too good to be opening for anyone (even the Pixies!), and when they left the stage I'm sure I wasn't the only left feeling disappointed.

Allowing for just the right amount of anticipation to build, the Pixies finally appeared, boasting the sort of calm confidence that can only be acquired over time. But they only showed their years in terms of focus, playing straight through almost thirty songs, never stopping to chat and rarely stopping to breathe in between tunes. True, they lacked enthusiasm at first, but after just a few songs, their looks of boredom faded and Frank Black began delivering guttural screams with ease, Kim Deal gave a smile or two, David Loverling led the band into the super cute "La La Love You" and guitarist Joey Santiago (if for one night only) dethroned Thurston Moore and became the reigning king of reverb. Mixing a heavy handful of well-known classics (i.e. "Monkey Gone To Heaven," "Here Comes Your Man," "Gigantic") with a few surprises (Kim Deal's melodic version of "In Heaven") and downright hard rock breakdowns (during "Tame" and "Something Against You"), the Pixies managed to appease their diverse audience of both diehard fans and more inexperienced ones. Let me assure you, even if the nosebleed seats were empty, the Pixies are still deserving of all the increasing hype which has surrounded them since their original break-up in 1992.

While nothing can quite compare to indulging in semi-sweet harmonies and crude bass lines while the sun sinks into the ocean, Jones Beach (excuse me, Tommy Hilfiger) Amphitheater is unfortunately just large and conveniently located enough to draw entirely too many ambiance-wreckers (i.e. girls in skin-tight camisoles dancing drunkenly and screaming "I love you" to the angelically indifferent Carlos D. and Frank Black). Still, I'd be a liar to suggest that the lack of seats combined with the familiarly sticky feel of city floorboards beneath my aching feet could have made this show any cooler.


Interpol: Next Exit, Slowhands, Say Hello To Angels, Narc, Not Even Jail, Leif Erikson, Evil, Take You On A Cruise, Obstacle 1, PDA.

Pixies: Is She Weird?, Subbacultcha, Dead, Wave of Mutilation, I Bleed, Broken Face, Monkey Gone to Heaven, #13 Baby, In Heaven, Where is my Mind?, La la love you, Nimrod's Son, Mr. Grieves, The Holiday Song, Vamos, Here Comes Your Man, Bone Machine, Stormy Weather, The Sad Punk, Something Against You, Isla De Encanta, Allison, Cactus, Gouge Away, Tame, Debaser, Hey, Gigantic, Encore: Caribou.

1 comment:

astronautje said...

great style of music!

i love Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, but they all eat from the same bucket of The Gang Of Four!

they are the real, original inventors of that genre!

anyway, greetz from Antwerp!