Monday, February 25, 2008

Liars with guests No Age, Clubhouse Music Venue, Tempe, AZ 2/20/08

I am going to make this a brief review as I am writing during work break. First let me say that I don't think I could live in the Phoenix area. I like more extremes between the four seasons, and the desert atmosphere is cool for awhile but I'd rather look at trees long term than cacti. There aren't as many cacti in town though, as to me Phoenix seems like a sprawling mass of communities like Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, ect. And it has some heavy hitting major league traffic, too. But that's just my opinion. Obviously I'm in the minority.

That said, I dig Arizona for a few days, and I made it out to see Liars. Honestly, the venue was not my fave. It was practically in a shopping center/strip mall, with a sports bar to the left, a vacant area to the right for lease, and a 7-11 in front of it. And the name "Clubhouse Music Venue" seems too general to me, and I could never remember what order those three words were supposed to be in, but they are so vague and bland to be almost interchangeable.

Inside though, it was fine. I had heard of the openers No Age before, and I thought they were real good. Two guys, a drummer and a guitarist, and their songs were quirky to remain interesting despite the minimalism, and not just playing the same riff all the way through. I bought their CD inbetween them and Liars. I hadn't refreshed my memory of the Liars' material I own before I came, having been months since I listened to them. I didn't know what to prepare for, but they definitely exceeded any nebulous expectations. I am not a music expert or even a moderate critic, but Liars have the best percussion section of anyone I can think of lately. Their best moments to me come when the drums entirely carry the melody. They actually have two percussionists banging away sometimes, while the guitar seems to add cool feedback type sounds, and their lead singer in a red suit beats away at the air like a combination of a drunken sailor and a madman during these songs, and it comes across very primal, perhaps like a Tago Mago Can hypnotism, although there's dust on that album in my mind as well. When Liars try slightly more straightforward guitar based melodies (albeit never clean/poppy sounding) it doesn't do as much for me. My favorite Liars tunes I recall in my head by the drums and percussion bits.

Mystery of the night: What do guys carry around in backpacks at these shows? I see two or three guys at these things all the time with packs. If you told me to fill up a backpack with stuff I couldn't dream up 2 things to put in it. Last time I carried one was to tote my Magic cards around to tournaments and trade. Because I'm cool like that.

Antibears- 3.5. Solid show and probably exaggerated because I wasn't expecting such a good one. Unparalled drums. Cool frontman who was very entertaining. A great pulsing sound.

Bears- 2.0. Venue didn't have tons of character in my mind. I understand indie bands don't have tons of material but I could've taken one or two more songs.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Sounds like a good show!