May 5, 2005

The Faint (also, Bright Eyes)

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at May 5, 2005 3:06 PM

The concert was in an exhibition hall with the main dance floor in the center and bars set up on elevated levels to each side. I opted for the natural compromise of spending The Faint's set on the floor and then watching Bright Eyes from the bar. (Due to a timing misjudgement I arrived too late to see much of the first opening act, Her Space Holiday; the bit I did hear sounded like what you'd expect from the name of their band.)

The Faint were awesome, playing most of Dance Macabre and Wet From Birth (and choosing the right songs to leave out, although "Symptom Finger" would have worked well, and I have a special affection for "Phone Call"). I especially liked that they had a violinist and a cellist on stage for the appropriate songs on the latter album, and one of the regular band members played the trumpet to open "Southern Belles". It turned out that Bright Eyes would use all these instruments as well.

(I hadn't seen the music video for "Agenda Suicide" before; it was projected behind the stage when they played the song, and it's quite good. Turns out it can be downloaded here.)

Bright Eyes came on looking like an escaped mental patient, all twitchy and hunched over. Despite (because of?) this he gave a very good performance, his voice coming through as clear and intense as it is on the record. He played all but one song from Digital Ash, plus a couple I wasn't familiar with. Happily, the squalling baby on "Ship in a Bottle" was replaced by a wailing guitar.

Caught the last train to the East Bay by five minutes. (Maybe I should consider driving next time.) In my mailbox when I got home was my ticket to the next concert: Sleater-Kinney on June 4. This was the band that hooked me on indie rock in the first place, so I'm pretty excited to see them live.

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