Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Let's grow old together and die at the same time..."

One of my favorite albums of 2008 came from Friendly Fires (FF), and so when I saw they were playing the Double Door I got super excited. Then I realized that they were the opening act for a band called White Lies (WL) I like a few WL songs, and even though FF wasn’t the headliner I decided to go anyway. And so I trekked myself on down to the Double Door on April 3rd to see one band I couldn’t wait to watch (and dance to) and one that I hope would get me excited about them live.

My friends Brie and Heidi had already seen the show when all three acts came to DC and played the Black Cat. Their review was positive in general, and they told me that FF was amazing, however, that WL wasn’t very good. In fact they left early. So I was hoping that overall the show would be good.

The opening-opening act was California band The Soft Pack: They were okay. Catchy, short, fast songs played with this punk-musician flair, especially by the drummer. They seemed fine enough, but I was just waiting for FF to take the stage so anyone playing before them probably would have received a similar review from me. But they are making a bit of a splash on KEXP currently.

I was really excited when FF took the stage. Also by this time some of my friends had showed up so I joined them at a spot that had a better view. When they started playing all was going well and the dance party was beginning. Then Ed Macfarlane opened his mouth and started singing. Wah wah. It sounded muffled and sometimes strained. Even though they played their entire album, I think…maybe one or two songs were missing, I was kinda bummed they were not as stellar live as I was expecting. I think some of it may have been due to the poor sound quality of the venue (at least that is what my friends told me) or it may be that they are not as great live. However, this did not deter me from trying to make it a good experience and I sang and danced along. Plus they looked like they were having a fun time on stage and that is always helpful and contagious. I do want to see them live again to be sure though.

The start of the show and “Lovesick”

I love how Ed takes the mic and taps it on his head and then awkwardly thrust his pelvis at us.

When WL came on my expectations were low. I mean Brie and Heidi left the show during their set and they NEVER do that. So they must not be that great live, right? WRONG!!! It was like the reverse of the show my DC gal pals had. They were amazing! They started off the set with their two strongest songs, “To Lose My Life” and “Unfinished Business.” It just got better from there when they played “Farewell to the Fairground” and “Death.” I was really surprised about them. Their sound quality was great, which again made me think maybe FF just sounds off live. I mean I was in the same spot for both acts. I like the sound of WL, but to me they were like a hotter, British version of the Bravery. Remember them? Yeah. I just hope WL will have a little bit longer career. Not gonna lie these guys were great looking. I was completely enamored by the bassist, Charles. Rowrr…

“Unfinished Business” on Later...With Jools Holland

So I went to the show thinking that FF was gonna know my socks off and it turned out WL were truly the headlining act.


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